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Wimbledon 2019: Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in five-set classic

The all-time greats produced an instant epic at the All England club, with the Serb triumphing 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 13-12 (7-3) in five hours, two minutes

Kieran Jackson
Sunday 14 July 2019 19:50
Wimbledon Championships in numbers

Novak Djokovic triumphed in a five-seat, five-hour epic over Roger Federer after a thrilling Champions tie-break.

The Serb prevailed 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 13-12 (7-3) and saved two Championship points in a back-and-forth contest on Centre Court.

Djokovic now moves to 16 Grand Slams, and is only four away from Federer's all-time record of 20.

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Welcome to Independent Sport's coverage of the men's singles final at Wimbledon 2019. 

Roger Federer is back at 37 years of age, aiming for a ninth title, while Novak Djokovic has safely negotiated his path to Centre Court this Sunday and will aim for back-to-back titles for a second time and a fifth crown at SW19. 

Follow all the live updates from the All England Lawn Tennis Club right here. 

Jack Rathborn14 July 2019 09:28

He's here! 

The Swiss master has arrived to practice ahead of the final on Centre Court. 

Can he upset defending champion Djokovic? 

Jack Rathborn14 July 2019 11:12

Past meetings

These two are no stranger to playing against each other in the big games. Here's some of their classic meetings

US Open 2010

Federer had beaten Djokovic on three previous occasions at Flushing Meadows in 2007, 2008, and 2009, and looked set to repeat the trick in the semi-final with two match points on the Serbian's serve in the fifth set. But Djokovic repelled them with some stunning forehands and went on to win 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 7-5.

US Open 2011

A year on and at the same stage, Federer worked two more match points in the fifth, this time on his own serve. Again Djokovic, who had come from two sets down, saved both, the first with a sensational forehand return, and won the next four games to wrap up a 6-7 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5 victory.

French Open 2011

Djokovic went into the semi-final at Roland Garros on a 43-match winning streak. But in an encounter of breathtaking quality Federer took the first two sets before Djokovic pulled one back. The Serb served for the fourth set at 5-4 but Federer broke back and edged the subsequent tie-break to win 7-6 6-3 3-6 7-6.

Wimbledon 2014

Federer had looked invincible on his way to the final but found himself 2-1 down and facing Championship point at 2-5 in the fourth. Somehow the Swiss broke serve twice to win the next five games and level the match, only for Djokovic to prevail in the decider for a 6-7 6-4 7-6 5-7 6-4 success.

Wimbledon 2015

A repeat final and, unfortunately for Federer, a repeat result. Djokovic took the first set on a tie-break, and held four set points at the end of a second which had gone the same way. When Federer finally forced a first set point he made no mistake with an imperious volley. But early breaks in sets three and four saw Djokovic lift his third trophy, winning 7-6 6-7 6-4 6-3.


Jack Watson14 July 2019 11:27

Route to the final

Roger Federer

First round - Lloyd Harris

Little-known South African Harris briefly threatened a major shock on his debut when he took the first set, but he won just five more games as Federer wrapped up a 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 victory.

Second round - Jay Clarke

Young Brit Clarke's Wimbledon dream was ended by his idol, the eight-time champion closing out a 6-1 7-6 (3) 6-2 victory in one hour and 36 minutes.

Third round - Lucas Pouille

A 7-5 6-2 7-6 (4) victory over Pouille was Federer's 350th at a grand-slam event, a landmark no other player has reached or even come close to.

Fourth round - Matteo Berrettini

Young Italian Berrettini was supposed to provide a real test. Instead he won just five games as Federer romped home 6-1 6-2 6-2.

Quarter-final - Kei Nishikori

Federer brought up a century of Wimbledon match victories after shaking off a nervy start to run out a 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-4 winner and book a last-four showdown with Rafael Nadal.

Semi-final - Rafael Nadal

The box office clash did not disappoint. After winning the first set, Federer looked in trouble in the second but came back again to win a classic 7-6 (3) 1-6 6-3 6-4.

Novak Djokovic

First round - Philipp Kohlschreiber

Djokovic began his campaign with a double fault and a drop of serve, but still secured a straight-sets victory, winning 6-3 7-5 6-3.

Second round - Denis Kudla

Plain sailing for the world number one, who won the opening five games and strolled to a 6-3 6-2 6-2 win in 93 trouble-free minutes.

Third round - Hubert Hurkacz

Djokovic dropped a set for the first time at the Championships but it proved only a minor inconvenience in a 7-5 6-7 (5) 6-1 6-4 win.

Fourth round - Ugo Humbert

The top seed breezed past French rookie Humbert 6-3 6-2 6-3 on Court One to reach the last eight for the 11th time.

Quarter-final - David Goffin

For eight games this was a contest, then Djokovic won 10 in row on his way to a 6-4 6-0 6-2 victory and a ninth semi-final.

Semi-final - Roberto Bautista Agut

Spaniard Bautista Agut took the second set, only the second Djokovic dropped all fortnight, but was still taken apart 6-2 4-6 6-3 6-2.


Jack Watson14 July 2019 11:50

A dream final

Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri previews the men’s showpiece and looks back at Simona Halep's stunning straight sets win against Serena Williams in yesterday's final

"It’s a match-up between the player most would consider to be the greatest of all time and the guy I would regard as the most complete player ever to pick up a tennis racket."

Jack Watson14 July 2019 11:54

The last words of Federer before he begins the final preparation for the big one. 

Can he raise it one more time?

Jack Rathborn14 July 2019 11:58

Krygios is backing Federer today. 

The Australian was involved in perhaps the match of the tournament against Nadal. 

And he's well and truly behind the Swiss today. 

Jack Rathborn14 July 2019 12:01

Novak Djokovic has been speaking about Federer ahead of today’s final, and has had some kind words to say about his old rival, as well as his ability on grass:

“We all know how good he is anywhere, but especially here. This surface complements his game very much.

“He loves to play very fast. He takes away the time from his opponent.

“He just rushes you to everything. So for players maybe like Nadal or myself that like to have a little more time, it's a constant pressure that you have to deal with.

“I've played with Roger in some epic finals here a couple years in a row, so I know what to expect.”

Vithushan Ehantharajah14 July 2019 12:31

Roger Federer thinks that one of the recent improvements made by Novak Djokovic could make his life difficult in today’s final:

“If I think of Novak, one thing that jumps out at me, is his jump back and to the left.

“It's how he's able to defend on that side, which I think has won him numerous matches and trophies.

“He does that better than anybody. Nobody else really has it as consistent and good as he has.”

Vithushan Ehantharajah14 July 2019 12:48

Here is everything you need to know ahead of today's final, which gets underway in around about an hour:

Vithushan Ehantharajah14 July 2019 12:58

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