Serbia’s Novak Djokovic kisses the trophy after defeating Switzerland’s Roger Federer in the men’s singles final match of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Sunday, July 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Djokovic edges Federer in 5 sets for 5th Wimbledon trophy

This triumph also earned Djokovic his 16th Grand Slam trophy

Novak Djokovic became the first man in 71 years to win Wimbledon after facing match points in the final, coming back to beat Roger Federer in an unprecedented fifth-set tiebreaker Sunday.

By barely emerging to win 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3) after nearly five tight, tense and terrific hours, Djokovic claimed his fifth championship at the All England Club and second in a row.

“Unfortunately in these kinds of matches,” Djokovic said, “one of the players has to lose.”

This triumph also earned Djokovic his 16th Grand Slam trophy, moving him closer to the only men ahead of him in tennis history: Federer with 20, and Rafael Nadal with 18.

Federer has ruled grass courts since the early 2000s; he has won Wimbledon eight times dating to 2003, and this was his record 12th appearance in the title match. But Djokovic is now 3-0 against Federer in finals at the place and 4-0 against him in five-setters.

This one was unlike any other, though.

That’s because, while it was reminiscent of Federer’s 16-14 fifth-set victory over Andy Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon final, that score is no longer possible: The All England Club altered its rule this year to do away with never-ending matches and institute a tiebreaker at 12-all in a deciding set.

At one point during the final set Sunday, Djokovic asked chair umpire Damian Steiner whether the change called for the tiebreaker at 10-10. Later, when Djokovic held for an 11-10 lead, it was Steiner who got confused, beginning to call out the score as 11-9, before catching himself.

Federer and Djokovic pushed each other to the limit in what became as much a test of focus and stamina as it was about skill. It is destined to be discussed for years.

“I’ll try to forget,” joked Federer, who is less than a month shy of his 38th birthday and would have been the oldest man to win a Grand Slam title in the professional era.

First, it was Federer who kept falling behind, then coming back. He twice trailed by a set. He was down a break early in the crucible of the fifth. And, then, after seemingly gaining the upper hand, standing a single point from winning while serving for the victory at 8-7, 40-15, he faltered.

He sent a forehand wide on the first championship point, and Djokovic produced a cross-court forehand winner on the next. Soon enough, the 32-year-old Djokovic had broken back and on they would play.

Djokovic has done this to Federer before. In the semifinals of the 2010 and 2011 U.S. Opens, Djokovic erased two match points before coming back to win each time.

ALSO READ: Trudeau stresses balancing economy, environment during brief Stampede visit

___

Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Smoke Eaters defeat Centennials on Hockey Day in Trail

The Trail Memorial Centre showcased an exciting line up on Saturday during Hockey Day in Trail

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read