Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic combined for one of the greatest men’s finals in Wimbledon history in a 4 hour, 55 minute marathon that left both players spent following the first final set tiebreak in tournament history. Djokovic is your Wimbledon champion, and for a while it felt like we would never see a winner.
A first set tiebreak served as an early warning that Djokovic and Federer were going to be locked in a close match on a Sunny afternoon. The match earned its legendary billing entering the fifth set with both sides locked at two sets a piece. This quickly gave way into a battle to separate, with neither player finding a way to get a two-game advantage and win the championship.
Weather conditions were perfect for the final, but it mattered little as both players reached for towels in between points as the all-time in a desperate attempt to keep themselves cool as the match continued to become more and more intense. The crowd was decidedly behind Federer, swelling on every point and review — trying to will the 37-year-old to a win.
Late in the fifth set it appeared as if Djokovic was losing his cool during the marathon., especially while up 12-11 in the fifth set. Following a near miss the world No. 1 smashed his racket next to the chair of umpire Damian Steiner, earning a warning. It appeared as if the pressure of the situation had become too much. It was almost as if Djokovic channeled his anger into power, bombarding Federer with increasingly aggressive shots, wearing down Federer who was leaning more into a finesse game in the difficult conditions.
A relieved Federer spoke to the crowd following the match saying his kids would have preferred him to bring home the title, but joked about being relieved the match was finally over, saying it was time for him to have a rest. Djokovic was jubilant in his win, but acknowledged how grueling it was.
“This was definitely one of the most exciting matches I was a part of. One of those matches where you never know which point will change the flow […] I managed to find my best tennis when it mattered the most.”
This was truly one of the greatest matches in Wimbledon history, and a final that will be remembered forever.