Novak Djokovic described his epic Wimbledon final victory over Roger Federer as the most mentally demanding match of his career.
The defending champion saved two match points in the fifth set before winning the first deciding tie-break played in singles at the All England Club for a 7-6 (5) 1-6 7-6 (4) 4-6 13-12 (3) victory after four hours and 57 minutes.
It was the longest men’s singles final in Wimbledon history and brought Djokovic a fifth title, equalling Bjorn Borg and now just three behind Federer.
The Serbian is closing in on Federer’s all-time grand-slam record, too, with his 16th title leaving him four off the Swiss and only two adrift of Rafael Nadal.
“It was a huge relief in the end, honestly,” said Djokovic, who once again proved himself the master at winning the points that matter.
“These kind of matches, you work for, you live for, they give sense and they give value to every minute you spend on the court training and working to get yourself in this position and play the match with one of your greatest rivals of all time.
“It was probably the mentally most demanding match I was ever part of.”
Had Federer taken one of his championship points, a lead of six grand slam titles over the Serb would have proved extremely challenging to overcome.
Now with the difference only four major titles, the possibility of Djokovic becoming the most successful male grand slam player of all-time is within his grasp.
The 32-year-old has won 15 of the last 35 grand slams, 40% of the major titles since the start of 2011.
You also cannot count out Rafael Nadal, who sits on 18 major titles. Although his injury problems are likely to be a factor and he has not found a lot of success outside of Roland Garros, which he has won 11 times, in recent years.
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