(July 12, 2015) Novak Djokovic defended last year’s Wimbledon title with a 7-6(1), 6-7(10), 6-4, 6-3 victory over Roger Federer for his third Wimbledon crown, ninth major title, sixth tournament win of the year and 54th overall career title. He’s the first man since Federer, to defend his Wimbledon title. The Serbian, world No 1 has evened his head-to-head record against the Swiss at 20-20.
The win for the 28-year-old prevented the seven-time champion, 34-year-old Federer from claiming a record eighth crown at the All-England Club.
Djokovic is now tied with his coach Boris Becker with three Wimbledon titles.
It was Djokovic’s 200th Grand Slam match win and he is now in eighth place overall on the all-time Grand Slam winners list with nine majors.
“It’s a great privilege to play against Roger, who is a great champion,” Djokovic said to BBC television after the match. “He has done so much for our sport on and off the court. It’s a great honor to play him again. I was aware coming onto the court, that Roger would play his best when it matters the most. He pushes you to limits.”
“Novak not only played great today, but also this year, last year and the year before that!” Federer said. “Well done, Novak, you deserved it. At the end he was rock solid. I didn’t play bad myself, so I can be very happy. That’s the way it goes. Once more, it has been a privilege to play here.”
Federer went up a break in the first set only to be broken right back. At 5-6 Djokovic saved to set points and went on a run where he won 14 of 15 points. Djokovic dominated the tiebreak 7-1.
In the second set, Djokovic had 7 set points and failed to close it out, with Federer edging out the Serb in the second set tiebreak 12-10.
Djokovic took away Federer’s momentum in the third set breaking the Swiss’ serve in the third game and held on to win the third set 6-4. The set was interrupted for a rain delay at 3-2.
Djokovic broke Federer’s serve in the fifth game of the fourth set and again in the ninth game to close out the set (6-3) and the match.
“It was always going to be tough for both players to start the first set, second set and third set,” Federer said. “It’s always a mental and physical challenge to keep going, keep going.
“We both I think had chances. I don’t remember quite how it went. I think it went back and forth. I saved a couple of breakpoints early which I think was big for me to stay with him. Then I think I had chances myself maybe. Then he got the break on a forehand I should not miss.
“It was a different atmosphere then. Also from the crowd. Everything went into the breaker. You slowly got to build it up in the beginning of the third.
“But definitely were a few games where it was close for both guys. Maybe at the end the key of the match, but who knows.
“Yeah, definitely would have been nice to stay with him there at that point or even go a break ahead.”
“Second set tiebreak,” Djokovic said, “it was frustrating obviously not to be able to close it out. Very, very frustrated on the changeover because I knew that I cannot let this happen against Roger in the finals of Wimbledon because this might be my last chance in the match.
“But, again, managed to regroup, had a little bit more time, especially in the rain delay. That’s where I got my thoughts together and went back to the basics and played a really, really good match after that.”
Reflecting on his accomplishments, Djokovic said: “I think there is no reason not to be satisfied with what I have achieved. In contrary, I’m thrilled and very proud with all the success that I had so far in the career, everything I reached. If you would ask me as a 14‑year‑old back in Serbia trying to find my way, you know, that this is how I’m going to end up at 28, of course I would sign the deal and take it right away.
“There were a couple of Grand Slam finals that I think I could have won. But, again, having said that, everything happens for a reason. I try to learn from every experience, especially the ones that don’t end up victorious for me. I’m going to keep going.
“I’m 28. I feel good. I don’t feel old. I have hopefully many more years in front of me. I’m going to try to push my own limits and see how far I can go really with titles and with myself playing on this high level.”
Asked about Djokovic’s position among the tennis greats, Federer said: “Moving up. We don’t know who is what, all these things. But he’s clearly making a big name for himself, you know, having won as many times now as he has in these different slams. But also his streak at world No. 3, 2, 1, keeping it up, keeping it going, winning a lot of titles time and time again.
“Staying injury‑free now for him is crucial. Clearly he’s going to be one of the top guys. Where, we’ll still have to wait and see. I’m sure he still has many more great years ahead of him.”
“I’m extremely proud,” Djokovic said. “It’s a huge relief. That’s the first feeling that I will feel after the tournament. Whether I’m winning it or losing it, in finals, or whenever I finish, it’s just a huge relief.
“Especially in the Grand Slams, you know, you play every second day, but you have to encounter many different things on and off the court. It’s biggest events in sport. So many people asking you different questions. There’s expectations from yourself, your team, people around you.
“Yeah, you know, you need to be able to accept it and live with that. It’s not easy because it takes a lot of energy from you and from every aspect. So that’s the first thing, is a relief, it’s over.
“And obviously it’s nicer when you get to have the trophy with it, as well.