Novak Djokovic has become the first man to win a 12-12 tiebreak in a fifth set at Wimbledon, beating Roger Federer 7-6 1-6 7-6 4-6 13-12 to win the trophy after saving two Championship points.
The longest ever Wimbledon final at just over five hours, the match will go down as one of the best Grand Slam finals of all time.
Winning his fifth Wimbledon, it is the second time in Djokovic’s career he has managed to win back to back titles at SW19. The world number one saved break points early in the first set, and after both men held strong behind serve, Djokovic edged out the tiebreak 7-5 to take the first set.
Playing in his twelfth final at The All England Club, Federer crushed the Serbian serve in the second set. He broke Djokovic three times in order to win the set, a stark contrast to the serving domination seen in the first.
Djokovic has equalled Bjorn Borg for number of Wimbledon titles, moving up to joint third on the all time winners list. He quickly put the woes of the second set behind him, and served confidentiality. He saved a set point at 4-5 and went on to get the better of the Swiss maestro 7-4 in a third set tiebreak.
Having previously only lost three of his eleven Wimbledon finals, Federer came out in full force in the fourth set. A double break of serve gave him a 5-2 advantage. The number one seed Djokovic managed to gain his first break point chance of the whole match and gain one break of service back. It was too little too late however, as Federer rolled onto a 6-4 fourth set victory.
Serving first, Djokovic gained the first break of service to take a 4-2 lead in the fifth set. But after a forehand error he handed it straight back to the 20 time Grand Slam champion.
A fantastic forehand passing shot put the Swiss in control, a break up at 8-7. Two aces saw Federer have the chance at two championship points to take the set 9-7. But a wide forehand and sensational cross court winner off the Djokovic racket saw both vanish. The Serb won the next two point to break straight back.
The match was at deadlock. A new rule change at Wimbledon means playing a tiebreak at 12-12 in a fifth set, as opposed to playing until one player was two game ahead. And this seemed to be where the match was heading.
The two legends of the sport got to the first ever 12-12 tiebreak, and it was to be Djokovic to make history. A wide forehand pickup shot from the Federer racket gave the world number one an advantage, and holding serve confidently gave Djokovic three championship points of his own. After an incorrect line call on a Djokovic shot, the first championship point was to be replayed. But Djokovic did not let anything get to him as he returned the Federer serve strong and saw his opponent completely mishit the ball that went flying wide.
Djokovic has now moved to 16 Grand Slam titles. He moves in to sole third place, being fellow ‘Big Three’ members. Nadal had 18, Federer leads on 20.