Djokovic thwarts Federer's comeback attempt to win 2nd Wimbledon title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
LONDON — Novak Djokovic's large lead in the rollicking Wimbledon final was slipping away, due in no small part to Roger Federer's regal presence and resurgent play.
No man has won tennis' oldest major tournament more often than Federer, and he was not about to let it go easily. Djokovic went from being a point from victory in the fourth set to suddenly caught in the crucible of a fifth, and knew all too well that he had come up short in recent Grand Slam title matches.
Steeling himself when he desperately needed to, Serbia's Djokovic held on for a 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 victory after nearly four hours of momentum shifts Sunday to win Wimbledon for the second time — and deny Switzerland's Federer what would have been a record eighth championship at the All England Club.
“I could have easily lost my concentration in the fifth and just handed him the win. But I didn't, and that's why this win has a special importance to me, mentally,” Djokovic said. “I managed to not just win against my opponent, but win against myself, as well, and find that inner strength.”
Cradling his trophy during the post-match ceremony, Djokovic addressed Federer directly, saying: “I respect your career and everything you have done. And thank you for letting me win today.”
Even Federer had to smile at that line.
Truth is, Djokovic deserved plenty of credit for figuring out a way to raise his Grand Slam total to seven titles and allows him to overtake Rafael Nadal at No. 1 in the rankings.
“Novak deserved it at the end, clearly,” said Federer, who hadn't been to a Grand Slam final since winning his 17th major at Wimbledon in 2012, “but it was extremely close.”
Federer, who turns 33 next month, won 88 of 89 service games through the semifinals and produced 29 aces in the final, but Djokovic broke him four times.
Federer went to the net aggressively, only to see Djokovic zoom more than a dozen passing shots past him. And with most of the Centre Court crowd of about 15,000 raucously cheering for Federer, the 27-year-old Djokovic kept believing in himself.
That part might have been the most difficult, given that Djokovic lost his past three major finals, and five of his past six, including against Andy Murray at Wimbledon last year, and against Nadal at the French Open last month.
“Started doubting, of course, a little bit,” Djokovic said. “I needed this win a lot.”
Boris Becker, the three-time Wimbledon champion who began coaching Djokovic this season, called the new champion “the biggest competitor” and praised “his sense of not giving up, giving it always another try.”
“It could've gone either way in the fifth set,” said Becker, whose former rival as a player, Stefan Edberg, coaches Federer. “Novak finds another way. He digs deep and finds another way.”
Victory his, Djokovic knelt on the most hallowed tennis court in the world, plucked a blade of grass and shoved it in his mouth, just as he did after his 2011 Wimbledon title. “This is the best tournament in the world,” he said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Clues to Chief Justice John Roberts’ thinking on new ObamaCare case
- Pirates trade Davis to A’s for international signing bonus money
- Pitt notebook: Chryst keeps Panthers motivated amid adversity
- Pirates enter Plan B with Martin off market
- Reality-based networks reaching into scripted TV
- Penn State notebook: Franklin shrugs off special-teams miscues
- North Side rowhouse burns, no injuries
- 1879 Founders’ Circle Dinner gives preview of Sigo Falk Collections Center
- Pop Culture Q&A: TLC’s ‘Little Couple,’ TNT’s ‘Last Ship’ both slated to return
- Police seek missing Penn Hills man
- Festive evening salutes Salvation Army’s good works