Will Federer win Wimbledon in 2019
When the spectators went to the stands of the Center Court for the Wimbledon final in 2019, they did not yet know that they were going to witness a very special spectacle.
In a historic endgame thriller, record winner Roger Federer suffered one of the bitterest defeats of his glorious career.
At the end of an almost five-hour power struggle in the longest final in tournament history, Novak Djokovic wrestled the Swiss 7: 6 (7: 5), 1: 6, 7: 6 (7: 4), 4: 6, 13:12 (7: 3 ) and repeated his triumph from the previous year. Federer had given two match points in the fifth set.
Federer missed the record as the oldest Grand Slam winner
Federer and Djokovic had already faced each other in the Wimbledon final in 2014 and 2015, where Djokovic had triumphed both times. Overall, it was his 26th success in the 48th duel with the Swiss.
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Meanwhile, Federer missed the chance to become the oldest Grand Slam winner in history 25 days before his 38th birthday, adding another record to his glorious career.
The very first sentence gave a little foretaste of the close fight between the two long-term opponents. Neither Federer nor Djokovic allowed their opponent to win a single point. The tiebreak at the end of the round, which was almost completely balanced according to the statistical values, was the logical consequence.
Here, too, both players had enough chances, with Djokovic ultimately benefiting in particular from some of Federer's negligence. In the end, the tough struggle for sentence one lasted exactly an hour. It should have been just the foreplay, though.
Federer enforces decision theorem
Suddenly the second round was completely different. While Federer was able to maintain his level, Djokovic fell into a small performance gap and allowed himself a number of unforced errors.
The 32-year-old had to give up his serve three times, it was the first break of the day. With a double mistake, he gave Federer the ultimately effortless set win. The match was open again.
But Djokovic quickly found his way back into the match. He met the genius of the lawn esthete Federer, who kept flashing, with cool precision and impressive mental strength.
Again, the decision was made in the tie-break - again with the better end for Djokovic. Federer was 1: 2 sets back without having allowed a single breakball.
Djokovic has to be in the decision set
But the match, which is now rousing at the latest, had another twist in store. Because in the fourth round the "Maestro" braced himself again with all his might against the impending defeat and actually forced the decisive sentence.
Here, too, the match billowed back and forth several times: Break Djokovic to 3: 2, Break Federer to 3: 4. And once again everything was balanced.
The match was finally heading for its dramatic finale. The audience, long since completely euphoric, made for goose bumps, both players fought a merciless fight for every ball.
With a score of 7: 7, Federer managed a break, he looked like the sure winner - and yet missed two chances to win on his own serve. So it came to the premiere of the showdown in the fifth movement, at the end of which the Serb had the happier end for himself.
Federer: "That was crazy"
"It was a great match. It offered everything. We offered great tennis. Congratulations to Novak, that was crazy," said Federer and confessed: "It will take a while to overcome it - physically too."
Djokovic said: "I think that was the most spectacular final I've ever contested. Unfortunately, in a final like this someone has to lose. It's a bit strange to win in the tie-break."
The tiebreak for the fifth set was only introduced this year in response to excessive marathon games. It was used for the first time in a single match.
Longest Wimbledon final of all time
Djokovic ultimately celebrated his fifth success at the lawn classic in London and 16th major victory overall. With a playing time of 4:57 hours at the end, the memorable final also broke the record for the longest Wimbledon final. So far, Federer's duel in 2008 with Rafael Nadal held the record (4:48 hours).
By the way: The duel could not break the record for the longest final in the entire Grand Slam history. The final at the Australian Open in Melbourne 2012 between Djokovic and Rafael Nadal holds this with an unbelievable 5:53 hours, as the Serbian also beats himself with 5: 7, 6: 4, 6: 2, 6: 7 (5: 7), 7: 5 prevailed.
The Serb had to fight off not only Federer, but also the spectators. Because these were largely on Federer's side and let Djokovic feel this. Djokovic therefore used a mental trick: "When people shout 'Roger', I hear 'Novak'. It may sound stupid, but that's how it is."
For Federer it was probably the bitterest defeat since the one against Nadal eleven years ago. "This went smoother in a way because we didn't have the rain breaks, the onset of twilight and all that. But sure, epic ending, so many moments, there are similarities. But the only similarity I see is that I do both times the loser. "
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