Novak Djokovic has defeated Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s longest singles final to retain his title in a thrilling win. He also became the first player to win a singles match on a deciding tie-break.
The top seed had saved two match points when Federer served for victory at 8-7 in the deciding set.
He went on to take it 7-6 (5) 1-6 7-6 (4) 4-6 13-12 (3) after an energy-sapping four hours and 57 minutes.
The world number one has won 16 Grand Slams – and four of the last five.
“It’s quite unreal,” Djokovic said after winning his fifth Wimbledon title.
Federer, who at 37 was chasing a record-equalling ninth Wimbledon singles title, added: “It was a great match, it was long, it had everything. Novak, congratulations, man, that was crazy.”
A highly anticipated final between two of the sport’s greats always had the potential to go the distance – and this did that and more.
The Serb – who for extended periods of the match had been second best – had won the match’s previous two tie-breaks and he did so again, snatching victory when Federer scooped a return high.
“Like similar to ’08 maybe, I will look back at it and think, ‘well, it’s not that bad after all’. For now it hurts, and it should, like every loss does here at Wimbledon,” Federer said.
“Epic ending, so close, so many moments. Yeah, I mean, sure there’s similarities [between this and 2008]. I’m the loser both times, so that’s the only similarity I see.”
The incredible fifth set lasted more than two hours – you could have fitted in two of Saturday’s women’s singles finals in the time of that set alone.