It took four hours, 57 minutes of tension-filled tennis, but Novak Djokovic is now the 2019 Wimbledon men’s singles champion after defeating Roger Federer in one of the most dramatic finals in the tournament’s rich history.
The Serbian star, who came into the tournament as the number-one seed and looking to defend the crown he won last year, was forced to battle hard throughout an enthralling contest with the grass-court legend, who was chasing his ninth Wimbledon title.
But, after the match went all the way to a tie-breaker after five gripping sets, it was Djokovic who prevailed to claim the title 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3).
Federer looked in irresistible form at times on Centre Court as he produced some quite phenomenal tennis, but Djokovic simply would not be denied, as he fought his way to three sets, winning each one via a succession of nail-biting tie-breaks.
The Serbian took the first set to edge ahead and claim the early advantage, but Federer came back brilliantly to win the second set 6-1. Djokovic once again went toe-to-toe with the Swiss superstar in Set 3 before edging the tie-break to move in front again. But once again, some inspired play from the eight-time champion saw him break the world number one and draw level to take the final into a fifth and deciding set.
And, for the first time in a singles match at Wimbledon, the new tie-break rules were brought into play as the two all-time greats of the court battled all the way to 12-12 in the final set.
And, just as he had done in the previous two tie-breakers, Djokovic found that little bit extra when it mattered to secure the set, and the match after four hours and 57 minutes of breathtaking tennis.
Djokovic’s victory takes the 32-year-old level with Swedish legend Bjorn Borg with five Wimbledon titles, and extended his tally of Grand Slam titles to 16, just four behind the man he defeated, Federer.