Despite doing everything he could, it turned out Roger Federer has no match against Novak Djokovic with 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3).
The All England Club geared up for an epic match, but it only takes a few minutes before the crowd turned raucous. Nevertheless, Wimbledon 2019 men’s singles final between Djokovic and Federer was the longest singles final in its history.
The clock finally stopped at 4 hours and 57 minutes. The fifth set alone lasted for more than 2 hours.
‘An incredible opportunity missed’
Djokovic was able to build consistency early on in the first set. Federer, on the other hand, made errors in the third set and tie break. Djokovic was able to save the two championship points, break back and take it to 12-12 tie-break. Djokovic also matched the two tie-breaks earlier.
In the end, Federer failed to convert the two match points he earned during the fifth set. He was a shot away from winning his ninth Wimbledon and 21st Grand Slam title. He would have been the oldest male tennis player to win a major professionally.
Rafael Nadal has 18 and Djokovic, 16 against Federer’s record of 20 singles titles. The final was the Serbian’s fifth Wimbledon title, winning four of the last five of his titles. Also, Federer lost his past five matches against Djokovic in Grand Slams. The last time he defeated the Serbian was at 2012 Wimbledon.
Djokovic said that winning against Federer is “quite unreal.” On the other hand, Federer has this to say: “I will try to forget about this.”
Down in the stats
Winning the finals, Djokovic was the underdog. Federer has 79% first-serve points won against Djokovic’s 74%. He also had 25 aces and 94 winners compared with the Serbian’s 10 and 54, respectively. Finally, the new Wimbledon champion has 204 total points won and 29 total games won against Federer’s 218 and 36.
Spectators at the Centre Court gave Djokovic’s every serve error a standing ovation. He had 52 unforced errors and nine double faults. The crowd even booed him upon questioning a Hawk-Eye decision ruled in Federer’s favour.
Djokovic said that the Wimbledon championship was “the most demanding, mentally most demanding, match” he was ever part of. Not losing faith in his capabilities, he mentioned, “If you have the majority of the crowd on your side, it helps. When you don’t, then you have to find it within.”
Federer became the first man in recent history who failed to win the singles final after having match points. It is also his second-longest singles final. The first one was against Nadal in the 2008 Wimbledon finals. He lost the match too.
However, this is not the first time he only needed a point from victory. He experienced the same against Kevin Anderson in Wimbledon 2018 quarter-finals and Djokovic in 2011 US Open semifinals.
The one single win he needed didn’t come. True to his words two days before the finals, tennis can “sometimes be brutal” since there is no such thing as draw in tennis.
Federer also announced that he would skip Montreal and move on with playing in Cincinnati and New York.