Novak Djokovic saved two championship points to retain his Wimbledon title with a thrilling final-set tie-break win over Roger Federer.
On a Centre Court, with an atmosphere that felt at times more akin to football than tennis, Djokovic won 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3).
It was the longest Wimbledon final, at four hours 57 minutes, with a Federer error handing Djokovic victory.
The Serbian world number one has now won 16 Grand Slam titles.
“It’s quite unreal,” Djokovic said after winning his fifth Wimbledon title.
Federer, who at 37 was chasing a record-equalling ninth Wimbledon singles title, added: “It was a great match, it was long, it had everything. Novak, congratulations, man, that was crazy.”
A highly anticipated final between two of the sport’s greats always had the potential to go the distance – and this did that and more.
With fans unable to watch at times, while leaping to their feet and chanting at others, a nerve-jangling final set turned this into a classic.
When Federer had two championship points at 8-7, Djokovic held his nerve to save both and then break back, eventually taking it to the new tie-break at 12-12.
The Serb – who for extended periods of the match had been second best – had won the match’s previous two tie-breaks and he did so again, snatching victory when Federer scooped a return high.
The Swiss had been seeking to become the oldest Grand Slam champion of the Open era but instead found himself part of a different record as the match time surpassed the Wimbledon record of four hours 48 minutes play of 2008 final he lost to Rafael Nadal.
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Source – BBC