Outstanding Djokovic retains Wimbledon title

Outstanding Djokovic retains Wimbledon title

Novak Djokovic inflicted more Centre Court misery on Roger Federer by retaining his Wimbledon title in another epic final on Sunday.

Seventeen-time grand-slam champion Federer lost a five-set thriller against the world number one last year and was again denied an eighth title at SW19 just 12 months on, as the brilliant Serb won 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (10-12) 6-4 6-3.

The majestic Federer saved seven break points in a gripping second set before coming out on top in a marathon tie-break, but Djokovic prevailed in another clash of the titans to win his ninth grand slam title.

The outstanding Djokovic suffered the torment of losing the French Open final to Stan Wawrinka last month, but put that behind him in style to claim his third major title on the grass in south-west London.

Federer, on the other hand, has not won a grand slam title since seeing off Andy Murray at Wimbledon three years ago and his head-to-head record with Djokovic now stands at 20-20.

Djokovic said there is no bigger challenge than facing Federer on Centre Court and the elegant Swiss master made an early statement by winning the first five points of the match.

The popular Federer had the crowd on his side and they raised the decibels when he broke to love in clinical fashion, with Djokovic going 4-2 down when he charged in and netted.

Djokovic looked up against it, but showed why he is the top-ranked player in the world by breaking back immediately when Federer sent a volley into the net under pressure.

A composed Djokovic saved two set points when serving to stay in the set at 6-5 down, then went on to boss the tie-break as he claimed three mini-breaks - the  second of which came courtesy of a sublime forehand winner to end a thrilling rally - and went a set up when Federer double-faulted.

Djokovic tenaciously thwarted Federer again when the second seed had two break points for a 3-2 lead, with the Serb's coach Boris Becker pumping his fist in the box after his man held with a rasping forehand winner.

The top seed had a set point at 5-4, but Federer this time stood firm and the defending champion applauded his opponent after he came up with a deft cushioned winner which allowed him the opportunity to hold, and he grasped with both hands.

The momentum was suddenly with Federer as he came up with some breathtaking backhand and forehand winners and earned a break-point chance in a tense 11th game of the second set, but again Djokovic dug deep to hold.

Another tie-break ensued and this time it was Federer who prevailed in dramatic fashion, battling back from 6-3 down and saving another six set points before taking his second chance to win the breaker with a volley at the net which got the crowd back on their feet.

Djokovic's frustration mounted as he failed to convert two break points in the first game of the third set then, despite still struggling to stay on his feet, he saved a break point in the next game before going 2-1 up when Federer sent an errant forehand long. 

A rain delay of just under 25 minutes did not affect Djokovic as he stretched his lead to 4-2, sending a scintillating backhand winner down the line to see Becker once again animated in the box, before going on to clinically serve out the set 

The standard of play had the crowd shaking their heads in disbelief and Djokovic turned the screw when he broke to lead 3-2 in the fourth set, with Federer netting a backhand.

The Swiss looked to be on his last lags, but he showed resilience to save two break points when 4-2 down.

It was merely a delay in Djokovic's march to the title, though, and he roared with delight before eating a piece of the famous Centre Court grass following a forehand winner into the corner that earned him yet another Wimbledon trophy.

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