Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer to win fifth Wimbledon title

The Serb saved two championship points to retain his title in a tense and tight match that lasted nearly five hours.

    Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer to win fifth Wimbledon title
    The triumph earned Novak Djokovic his 16th Grand Slam trophy [Toby Melville [Reuters]

    Novak Djokovic became the first man in 71 years to win Wimbledon after facing match points in the final, coming back to beat Roger Federer in an unprecedented fifth-set tiebreaker on Sunday.

    By barely emerging to win 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3) after nearly five tight, tense and terrific hours, Djokovic claimed his fifth championship at the All England Club and second in a row.

    "Unfortunately in these kinds of matches," Djokovic said, "one of the players has to lose."

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    The triumph also earned Djokovic his 16th Grand Slam trophy, moving him closer to the only men ahead of him in tennis history: Federer with 20 and Rafael Nadal with 18.

    It was the first grand slam final to use the rule of a fifth set tie-break at 12-12. The rule was introduced after Kevin Anderson and John Isner endured a six-hour semi-final last year.

    Federer, 37, has ruled grass courts since the early 2000s. He has won Wimbledon eight times since 2003 and this was his record 12th appearance in the title match.

    But Djokovic, 32, is now 3-0 against Federer in finals at the place and 4-0 against him in five-setters. This one was unlike any other, though.

    Federer and Djokovic pushed each other to the limit in what became as much a test of focus and stamina as it was about skill. 

    "I'll try to forget," joked Federer, who is less than a month shy of his 38th birthday and would have been the oldest man to win a Grand Slam title in the professional era.

    SOURCE: AP news agency