LONDON, United Kingdom – What a match. Roger Federer was going for a record-setting eighth Wimbledon title on a court that he has owned, but Novak Djokovic denied him on Sunday, besting the seven-time champ 6-7(9), 6-4, 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-4 in one of the best Wimbledon final matches in recent history. Djokovic’s second Wimbledon title and seventh major was sweeter because he had lost his last two finals in major tournaments.
— BBC Tennis (@bbctennis) July 6, 2014
Djokovic and Federer had similar stats, but Djokovic was able to break Federer’s stellar serve, which had been broken only once before the final, when it mattered the most, even though Federer had 29 aces against him. While Federer improved his net play, Djokovic also often made him pay for coming to the net, which allowed him to keep Federer off balance and control many of the points, especially by stretching Federer all over the court.
Djokovic was breezing to a four-set win when Federer showed that champions, especially one with 17 majors, do not go away easily. Federer was down 2-5 and the crowd was ready to write him off. One problem: Federer was not going anywhere! He served an ace on Djokovic’s first championship point to make it 3-5. He then broke Djokovic two more times and held his serve to force a fifth set. Djokovic looked wobbly and unnerved. It seemed like Federer was getting in his head. Federer oozed the calm and confidence that got him to where he is.
Now it was Djokovic’s turn in the fifth set to show his resolve. He broke Federer to take control of the set and his confidence went through the roof. He won his net points and did not commit as many unforced errors. He also played the entire court. In the last game, he went up 30-15 and won on a break point after Federer hit the ball in the net. Federer and Djokovic have played 35 times, and this was their longest match.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 6, 2014
The speeches afterwards showed the true class in these men and why everyone loves them.
“It was a great final,” Federer said after he received his runner-up trophy. “Can’t believe I made it to five! Wasn’t looking good for awhile.”
Quieting any talks of retirement that pundits throw out about the 32-year-old Swiss legend, Federer said, “see you next year.”
Djokovic went to the microphone, and it was hard for him to hold back the tears.
“Thank you for letting me win,” he told Federer, as the crowd laughed. “This is the tournament I always dreamed of winning. The best tournament, the most valuable one.”
His dedication made the victory even sweeter.
“I would like to dedicate this title to my first coach Jelena Gencic,” he said, holding the trophy up and looking at the sky. “She passed away last year. This title is for her.”