Djokovic defeats Federer in five-set thriller at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic narrowly beats seven-time champion Roger Federer 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-4 on Sunday to win his second title at the Wimbledon Championships and return to the world number one ranking.

Staff Reporter
6 July 2014, 8:33pm
Novak Djokovic of Serbia kisses the championship trophy following his win over Roger Federer of Switzerland in the men's singles final of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 06 July 2014. Photo by EPA/SANG TAN / POOL
Novak Djokovic of Serbia kisses the championship trophy following his win over Roger Federer of Switzerland in the men's singles final of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 06 July 2014. Photo by EPA/SANG TAN / POOL
The top-seeded Serb ended a grand slam title drought going back to January 2013 in Australia. Since then he had lost three finals at majors, including the French Open a month ago.

Djokovic won his first Wimbledon title in 2011.

"This was the first tournament I ever saw on television as a child and the one that I always dreamed of winning. It is the best tournament in the world and the most valuable one," he said

Djokovic dedicated his trophy to his pregnant wife-to-be Jelena Rustic and their child along with his family, his team and his late former first coach.

"This is a very emotional time, I congratulate Roger for a great fight today. it was a great match to be a part of.

"Roger is a magnificent champion and a great example of an athlete. I respect your career and everything you have done. Thanks for letting me win today," joked the Serb.

Federer had been bidding for an historic 18th grand slam trophy  against the man he had beaten in 18 times. But after winning the opening set, the Swiss was unable to keep his momentum going after his spectacular fourth-set fightback

Federer, the 17-time grand slam champion, made an heroic charge in the fourth as he trailed two sets to one.

Down 5-2, he won five consecutive games to take the contest into a deciding fifth set. Along the way, he salvaged a Djokovic match point with his 25th ace and then fired over his 26th on the way to hold for 5-all.

After breaking again, Federer held serve to send the contest into a fifth set.

"I was hoping that he would miss a first serve," said Djokovic of the tense moments. "That's why he has 17 grand slams and is the most successful player ever. He comes up with the shots when he has to.

But Federer was unable to carry on the momentum, saving three break points to hold for 4-4 but taking the loss in just under four hours as he was broken in the final game from a backhand long shot to hand Djokovic the title.

"It was a great final, I can't believe I made it to the fifth, it was looking bad there for awhile," joked the 32-year-old Swiss.

"It's always a tough match with Novak, we played athletic points. I can only say congratulations for an amazing match and an amazing tournament. The win was well-deserved.

"I felt the love out there and I'll be back next year," said Federer.

Federer finished with 29 aces and 75 winners while Djokovic fired 68 winners and broke four times from 16 chances in the attacking battle.

The title was the fourth this season for Djokovic after Indian Wells, Miami and Rome. Despite 36 career meetings, it marked only their second meeting for a grand slam title after the 2007 US Open won by the Swiss.