Wed, 21 Aug 2019

London - Novak Djokovic said it was "unreal" to be holding the Wimbledon trophy for a fifth time having saved two match points against eight-time champion Roger Federer in Sunday's final.

The 32-year-old Serbian, winning back-to-back Wimbledon titles for the second time, prevailed in an epic duel, the longest ever final and the first decided by a deciding set tie-break.

Djokovic, who was out-played for large parts of the match by his 37-year-old opponent, eventually prevailed 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 13-12 (7/3) in 4 hours and 57 minutes.

"It is quite unreal to be two match points down to come back and strange to play a tie-break at 12-12. I was hoping to get to the tie break," he said.

Djokovic paid a handsome tribute to his Swiss rival.

"I think that if this is not the most exciting final then it's definitely in the top two or three of my career against one of the greatest players of all time, Roger, who I respect," said Djokovic.

"Unfortunately in this type of matches someone has to lose."

Djokovic -- who joined Swedish legend Bjorn Borg on winning five Wimbledon trophies - said it had always been his dream to win when he was growing up.

"When I was a boy aged four or five, dreaming to be a tennis player, this has always been the tournament for me," he said.

"I used to make trophies out of different materials in my room and being here to share it with my parents, my son, and my team is extra special.

"I would like to say to my parents especially thank you for everything."

Federer, who agonisingly saw his bid of becoming the oldest ever Grand Slam champion, as well as winning a ninth title slip from his fingers, joked at first about being part of another epic final.

He had also been on the wrong end of the previous longest final, losing to Rafael Nadal in 2008.

"I will try to forget but it was a great match," he said.

"It was long, it had everything. I had answers so did he and we played some great tennis.

"I am happy with my performance, congratulations Novak, that was crazy."

Federer said he hoped he set an example to other people of his age.

"I hope I give some other people at 37 the feeling it is not over yet, I feel great," he said.

"This will take some time to recover from physically.

"I gave it all I had, I still I am still standing and hope it is the same for other 37-year-olds."

Federer said his children may not be the happiest they have been.

"They won't be excited with the plate - they would rather take the gold thing (the trophy)."

Factfile on Novak Djokovic, who won the 2019 Wimbledon title on Sunday:

Name: Novak Djokovic

Date of birth: May 22, 1987

Place of birth: Belgrade

Residence: Monte Carlo

Turned pro: 2003

Height: 6-foot-2 (1.88m)

World ranking: 1

Career singles titles: 75

Career Grand Slam titles: 16 (Australian Open 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019; French Open 2016; Wimbledon 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019; US Open 2011, 2015, 2018)

Career prize money: $134,656,304

Recent Wimbledon men's singles champions after Novak Djokovic won the 2019 title at the All England Club on Sunday:

2019: Novak Djokovic (SRB)

2018: Novak Djokovic (SRB)

2017: Roger Federer (SUI)

2016: Andy Murray (GBR)

2015: Novak Djokovic (SRB)

2014: Novak Djokovic (SRB)

2013: Andy Murray (GBR)

2012: Roger Federer (SUI)

2011: Novak Djokovic (SRB)

2010: Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Leading Grand Slam title winners after Novak Djokovic won the 2019 Wimbledon title on Sunday:

20: Roger Federer

18: Rafael Nadal

16: Novak Djokovic

14: Pete Sampras

12: Roy Emerson

11: Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver

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