Novak Djokovic claimed his third Wimbledon championship with a 7-6 (7-1), 6-7 (12-10), 6-4, 6-3 win over Roger Federer on Sunday.
The match lived up to its high expectations, but Djokovic pulled away in the last two sets with a mesmerizing performance. Responding from a tough defeat in the second set, Djokovic broke Federer early in the third, and made quick work of the No. 2 player in the world the rest of the way. Djokovic was the more aggressive player in the last half of the match, playing more and more of his shots in front of the baseline. Federer had been broken only once heading into the final, but was broken four times Sunday.
The first two sets were tightly contested. Federer will particularly regret the first, where he looked to be in control with a 4-2 lead, but quickly lost the next two games. Federer had a chance to break Djokovic and win the set later, but he failed to put his opponent away in the 12th game. Djokovic responded with a dominant performance in the tiebreak. Each player broke the other early in the second set, which eventually went to a 22-point tiebreak that Federer heroically won, holding off seven potential set points from Djokovic along the way.
At 28, Djokovic is in the heart of his prime. He’s won two majors this year, giving him nine for his career.
The loss has to be particularly heartbreaking for Federer, who hasn’t won a title on his signature surface since 2012. Federer had a masterful performance in the semifinal against Andy Murray, but his best wasn’t enough to topple Djokovic, the game’s undisputed top player. Will Federer have another deep Wimbledon run in him? It’s still hard to imagine Fed falling out of contention at any major, but it’s becoming even harder to imagine Djokovic losing his grip on his titles any time soon.
Photo via Associated Press