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Djokovic beats Federer in Wimbledon epic to win fifth title

Updated : 2019-07-15 07:31:42

Novak Djokovic again proved the toughest of nuts for Roger Federer to crack as he repelled everything the Swiss could throw at him to claim his fifth Wimbledon title in the first All England Club final to be decided by a tiebreaker on Sunday. The defending champion was outshone at times on Centre Court and saved two match points deep into a gripping decider, but he dredged his tank of mental and physical resilience to claim a thrilling 7-6(5) 1-6 7-6(4) 4-6 13-12(3) win. Nothing could split the players in an intoxicating final set and the match was already the longest Wimbledon singles final in history when the club's new rule stipulating a tiebreak at 12-12 in a deciding set was deployed for the first time in singles. As he had done in the day's two other tiebreaks, the top-seeded Djokovic showed nerves of steel to crush Federer's hopes of claiming a ninth title and becoming the oldest man to win a Grand Slam title in the professional era. Djokovic moved 6-3 ahead and, after the final point had to be replayed following a Hawkeye challenge, he could celebrate victory when a weary Federer framed a forehand. Victory took the 32-year-old Serbian level with Bjorn Borg in fourth place on the all-time list of men's winners at Wimbledon and increased his Grand Slam tally to 16 -- four behind Federer.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the final against Switzerland's Roger Federer at - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during the final against Switzerland's Roger Federer at - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge
Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge
Robert Federer applauds as Mirka Federer looks on during the final between Switzerland's Roger Federer and Serbia's Novak Djokovic at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2019.  Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS
Robert Federer applauds as Mirka Federer looks on during the final between Switzerland's Roger Federer and Serbia's Novak Djokovic at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2019.  Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS
Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2019.  REUTERS/Toby Melville
Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2019.  REUTERS/Toby Melville
Serbia's Novak Djokovic poses with the trophy after winning the final as Switzerland's Roger Federer looks on. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Serbia's Novak Djokovic poses with the trophy after winning the final as Switzerland's Roger Federer looks on. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Serbia's Novak Djokovic poses with the trophy as he celebrates winning the final against Switzerland's Roger Federer. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge
Serbia's Novak Djokovic poses with the trophy as he celebrates winning the final against Switzerland's Roger Federer. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge
Switzerland's Roger Federer looks dejected after losing the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Switzerland's Roger Federer looks dejected after losing the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Serbia's Novak Djokovic poses with the trophy after winning the final as Switzerland's Roger Federer looks on. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Serbia's Novak Djokovic poses with the trophy after winning the final as Switzerland's Roger Federer looks on. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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