History was made at Wimbledon on Sunday evening when Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Novak Djokovic played the first ever fifth-set tiebreak at 12-all in the Wimbledon final.
In an epic match that lasted close to five hours, it was 32-year-old Djokovic who proved triumphant, winning his fifth Wimbledon title 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3). While it looked like the Serbian player was going to be defeated at times by Federer, he thrilled 15,000 onlookers at Centre Court and millions more watching across the globe to take out the title.
In a match that will go down in history as one of the best, Federer broke Djokovic to go up 8-7 and had two championship points, but Djokovic was able to save both of them. Both players served strongly from 8-8 but it was Djokovic who shined when it mattered most.
He has now won 16 of the 25 grand slam finals he’s competed in.
Giving his first speech following his win, Djokovic said the match was the “most thrilling and exciting” finals he ever competed in and was in the top three in his career. He called Federer “one of the greatest players of all time” and explained how much he respected his opponent.
“He inspires me for sure,” Djokovic said.
The 2019 champ now matches Bjorn Borg’s Wimbledon record.
“I know I said this before but when I was a boy, four or five-year-old growing up and dreaming to become a tennis player one day, this is always has been the tournament for me,” Djokovic said. “Where I wanted to participate, where I wanted to win one day. I used to make the trophies out of different materials in my room, just imagining one day I’d be standing here.”
He said it was special to share the moment with his son and parents in the audience. His wife and daughter were in London but were watching from home.
“Thank you for giving everything for me to be here,” he told his parents.
Meanwhile, Federer also gave a speech following his defeat, joking that it’s a match he will “try to forget”.
‘It was a great match,” he said to cheers from the audience. “It was long, it had everything, I had my chances, so did he. I thought we played some great tennis so in a way, I’m actually really happy with my performance as well.”
The Swiss player congratulated Djokovic and described the match as “crazy”. At 37, Federer said he wanted to inspire older players that “it’s not over yet”.
“It’s going to take some time to recover physically too, but it’s all good,” he assured the audience. “I couldn’t give more. I gave it all I had and I still feel alright. I stand.”