Wimbledon 2019: Novak Djokovic claims fifth title after beating Roger Federer in longest-ever final
It took four hours, 57 minutes of tension-filled tennis, but Novak Djokovic is now the 2019 Wimbledon men's singles champion after defeating Roger Federer in one of the most dramatic finals in the tournament's rich history.
The Serbian star, who came into the tournament as the number-one seed and looking to defend the crown he won last year, was forced to battle hard throughout an enthralling contest with the grass-court legend, who was chasing his ninth Wimbledon title.
But, after the match went all the way to a tie-breaker after five gripping sets, it was Djokovic who prevailed to claim the title 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3).
Federer looked in irresistible form at times on Centre Court as he produced some quite phenomenal tennis, but Djokovic simply would not be denied, as he fought his way to three sets, winning each one via a succession of nail-biting tie-breaks.
The Serbian took the first set to edge ahead and claim the early advantage, but Federer came back brilliantly to win the second set 6-1. Djokovic once again went toe-to-toe with the Swiss superstar in Set 3 before edging the tie-break to move in front again. But once again, some inspired play from the eight-time champion saw him break the world number one and draw level to take the final into a fifth and deciding set.
And, for the first time in a singles match at Wimbledon, the new tie-break rules were brought into play as the two all-time greats of the court battled all the way to 12-12 in the final set.
And, just as he had done in the previous two tie-breakers, Djokovic found that little bit extra when it mattered to secure the set, and the match after four hours and 57 minutes of breathtaking tennis.
Djokovic's victory takes the 32-year-old level with Swedish legend Bjorn Borg with five Wimbledon titles, and extended his tally of Grand Slam titles to 16, just four behind the man he defeated, Federer.
FIVE OF THE BEST: NOVAK DJOKOVIC'S FIVE WIMBLEDON TITLES
2011: Djokovic def. Nadal - 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3
Djokovic got his first taste of the Wimbledon turf after defeating Spanish ace Rafael Nadal in a year that established him as the clear number-one player on the planet.
The Serb's final victory was his 50th win from 51 matches that year as he became the only other man besides Nadal and Federer to capture a Wimbledon men's singles crown in nine years at the All England Club.
2014: Djokovic def. Federer - 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7. 6-4
Djokovic had lost in three major finals before heading into Wimbledon in 2014 and claiming the title after a five-set battle with Federer.
The Swiss star put Djokovic under intense pressure in the final set, but the Serb held firm in crucial break-point situations to hold his serve, then go on to win the title in a little under four hours.
2015: Djokovic def. Federer - 7–6(1), 6–7(10), 6–4, 6–3
Djokovic surpassed fellow Wimbledon legends Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi by defeating Federer to win his third title at SW19.
Once again, it was Federer he defeated in the final, as he claimed the win over four sets to win his ninth Grand Slam title.
2018: Djokovic def. Anderson - 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(3)
Djokovic was in the middle of a major drought when he arrived at the All England Club in 2018. He hadn't won a major title since the 2016 French Open had seen his ranking fall down to 21st in the world.
But the Serb found his feet, and his form, on Wimbledon's famous grass courts as he stormed to the title by defeating Nadal in a semi-final thriller, then Kevin Anderson in the final to re-establish himself at the top of the game once again.
2019: Djokovic def. Federer - 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3)
Djokovic's fifth title came after missing out on the chance to complete a set of four Grand Slam in a row at Roland Garros.
But he was steely-eyed and determined to succeed at Wimbledon as he breezed through to the final, then battled shot-for-shot with Federer in arguably the best Wimbledon final of all time to claim his fifth title and his 16th Grand Slam crown.Also on rt.com Simona Halep blitzes Serena Williams to win Wimbledon title