World no. 1 Novak Djokovic has fought off two match points in the fifth set to go on to win a thrilling match against Roger Federer.
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The match lived up to expectations going the distance after both players could not close out the match before the 12-12 limit was reached sending the final into the first ever fifth set tie-breaker.Embed from Getty Images
It was Federer that could have taken the title after he broke Djokovic in the 15th game of the fifth set then served for the match at 8-7 earning two break points along the way.
The first match point was lost due to sloppy footwork when Federer failed to get into position and he hit his shot wide.
The second match point was gone after Djokovic saw Federer charge the net and then the world no. 1 calmly whipped the ball past Federer.
A Boris Becker like dive might have given the Swiss maestro the match if he connected with a diving volley. Instead, he was left stranded at the net as the ball zipped past.
From 15-40 and facing the match points, Djokovic won four straight points to break back. The defending champion actually ran off seven straight points to move to 40-0 in the 17th game.
If you look at the stats from the match it is hard to see how Djokovic won, but he did win thanks to winning the points that mattered in the first, third and fifth set tiebreakers.
Federer hit 94 winners to 54 from Djokovic. The unforced errors favoured Djokovic 52 to 62. Total points won was 218 to 204 in favour of Federer.
Federer also broke seven times to three, won more first serve points, won more second serve points, but he still lost.
The three tie breaks got him over the line, winning the Championship 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(3).
It is the fifth time Djokovic has won the Wimbledon title. Federer was denied his ninth singles title. It is also now four runner-up plates for Federer.
The match will be remembered for some time however too many points were ended by an error instead of a winner, but it was still a high-quality match.
Djokovic, who at 32 years-old closes the all-time Grand Slam gap to four behind Federer on 20.
You would have to think if Djokovic can stay motivated for another five years and maintain form he will end up with the most Grand Slam singles titles in men’s tennis.
The US Open is the next Grand Slam, and Djokovic is again defending the title. Can Federer bounce back to claim his sixth US Open? He has not won the US Open since the last of five straight in 2008.