Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer to win Wimbledon 2019
July 15, 2019
Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer on Sunday afternoon to claim his fifth Wimbledon title after a gruelling five-set match which lasted no less than four hours and 57 minutes.
In what will go down as one of the classic Wimbledon finals, the Serbian showed his resilience as he fought off two match points against his rival to win his 16th Grand Slam singles title and take him one step closer to Federer’s record of 20.
Federer clearly had the crowd on his side with fans cheering him on and occasionally even applauding misses from Djokovic. However, the Serbian kept his composure well and fought to the end to inflict misery on the world number 3.
Djokovic took the first set 7-6 after a tie break but was dealt a wake-up call by Federer who broke serve no less than three times to win the second 6-1. Djokovic again forced a tie break in the third and went two sets up despite not breaking his opponents serve at this point which had been impressively consistent throughout the match. In a nervy fourth set, 37-year-old Federer showed his class again with a string of soft drop shots and was able to break serve twice to force Djokovic into a fifth set.
At this point, the majority of online bookmakers had priced both players the same which is fair considering it would have been hard to predict the winner. Both players broke serve in the final set with neither looking like they were likely to slack off. It was Federer who was able to break for a second time to take the score to 8-7 and only needed to serve out for his ninth Wimbledon title of his career. Going 40-15 up and with two championship points, Federer was looking most certain to take the match but it was not to be. In an unlikely turn of events, Djokovic fought back to break serve and level the score to 8-8.
The match continued with both players holding their serve until the score reached 12-12 at which point the match was decided on a tie break. Wimbledon uses a unique scoring system for the final set where if a player has not won by 6-6, the match continues until a player has a two game lead at which point they will be declared the winner. However, if the match reaches a score of 12-12, the match will be decided by a tie break.
Interesting fact: Wimbledon first introduced tiebreaks in 1971 but they came into action at a score of 8-8 rather than 6-6. A tiebreak at 12-12 only applies to the final set and this was introduced in 2019.
Heading into the tiebreak, Djokovic was to serve first, giving him the advantage. He was able to break Federer’s serve which gave him a 6-3 lead and only needing one point to win the match. Unfortunately for Federer, Djokovic broke serve for a second time in the tiebreak resulting in a 7-3 score and Djokovic winning the match.
The match will go down as Wimbledon’s longest ever final and one which many will remember for years to come. At 4hrs 57m, the duel was 9 minutes longer than the previous record which was set back in 2008 and resulted in Rafael Nadal claiming victory over Federer on that day.
Speaking about the similarities to that match 11 years ago, Federer said:
“Like similar to ’08 maybe, I will look back at it and think, ‘well, it’s not that bad after all’. For now, it hurts, and it should, like every loss does here at Wimbledon”
“Epic ending, so close, so many moments. Yeah, I mean, sure there are similarities. I’m the loser both times, so that’s the only similarity I see.”