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How The Final Was Won: Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic during the Gentlemen's Singles Final
by Kate Battersby
Sunday 6 July 2014

The key components of  Novak Djokovic's 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 victory over Roger Federer. 

Breaking a bad habit: few are more graceful than Novak Djokovic in defeat, and he had way too much practice in his last three Grand Slam finals, all of which he lost. Enough already. The Serb was desperate to snap that losing streak.

When marvellous isn’t good enough: there won’t be too many sets from his long career where Roger Federer has served at 83 percent and still lost it. That was what happened in the pivotal third set in this final, where the momentum swung decisively Djokovic’s way.

In passing: Djokovic racked up the passing winners, leaving Federer stranded time and again. By halfway through the third set tie-break he had notched up 12 to two from the Swiss, and he didn’t stop.

Delivery or return: the greatest returner in the game did not need to rely on that strength alone in this final, because the quality of his serve confounded Federer too. For three-quarters of this match, his percentage of points won on his first serve was higher than the Swiss.

Bounce-backability: a horrible word coined by an English football manager, but it applied beautifully to Djokovic today. He had Championship point in the fourth set and according to the line judge the title belonged to the Serb; but Federer demurred and Hawk-Eye agreed. Federer took five games in a row to force a deciding set and it seemed an historic win was to be his destiny – but Djokovic would not be denied.

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