Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Djokovic Survives a Federer Fightback for a Classic Victory; WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIPS: Men's Singles Final

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Djokovic Survives a Federer Fightback for a Classic Victory; WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIPS: Men's Singles Final

Article excerpt

Byline: Eleanor Crooks

NOVAK Djokovic withstood a courageous fightback from Roger Federer to win one of the most remarkable Wimbledon finals of all time.

Djokovic served for the match in the fourth set and had a match point on Federer's serve but each time his opponent hung on.

Having lost five of his last six grand slam finals, Djokovic was staring at the prospect of a shattering defeat but he simply refused to be beaten and took his second match point to win 6-7 (7/9) 6-4 7-6 (7/4) 5-7 6-4. The victory will see him take over from Rafael Nadal as world number one. It was the Serbian's seventh grand slam title and his second Wimbledon, while 32-year-old Federer will be left to wonder whether he will ever have a better chance to win an 18th slam.

This was also a first slam title with Djokovic for the Serbian's head coach Boris Becker, who found himself on opposite sides to his old rival Stefan Edberg, now coaching Federer.

Becker would have settled the easier into his seat as his charge made a brilliant start.

If there was mental anguish carried over from recent finals, Djokovic had buried it away, and it was only Federer's serve which kept the man from Basle on level terms in the opening set. The 32-yearold had to fight toe to toe off the ground in the 10th game, repelling a Djokovic charge to the delight of his adoring public.

Djokovic recovered from 0-3 in the tiebreak to lead 6-5 with a set point on his own serve, but Federer found the sideline and forced the error.

Another came and went with a Federer ace and, when the seven-time Wimbledon champion brought up his first chance, it was Djokovic who faltered, netting a backhand.

Djokovic finally made the breakthrough in the third game of the second set, sweeping a backhand pass beyond Federer and breaking the world number four's serve for only the second time all tournament.

The Serbian called the trainer for treatment to his left ankle after taking a heavy fall but there did not appear to be any damage.

Federer had one chance to retrieve the break when Djokovic betrayed a few nerves serving for the set, but the threat was averted. …

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