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The Best of Day 13: Djokovic Overcomes Federer in Five

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer walk off Centre Court after the Gentlemen's Singles Final
by Nicholas McCarvel
Sunday 6 July 2014

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer engaged in a battle for the ages on the final day of The Championships, 2014. The mixed doubles were decided on Day 13, as were the junior and wheelchair events. A full wrap of the day’s action. A full wrap of the day's action.

Two champions in need of a major championship, only one winner. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer had collected zero Grand Slam trophies in the last 18 months coming into Sunday’s Wimbledon final, the two greats of the game meeting for a 35th time – and first in a major final in six years. With legendary coaches – and former rivals – Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg in their respective corners, dramatic theatre unfolded on the Centre Court stage.

Match of the Day: [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d [4] Roger Federer (SUI) 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4
It was a match that didn’t start like a classic, but it sure ended like one. Federer fought off a championship point in the fourth set, buoyed by an electric Centre Court crowd that wanted to see the seven-time champion reach number eight. But Djokovic, without a major title in five out of his last six Grand Slam final appearances, proved to be too much, breaking in the tenth game of the deciding set when Federer netted a backhand.

Djokovic played from both behind and in front in this match, losing the opening set before taking a lead into the fourth and serving for The Championships at 5-4. He had had a championship point on Federer’s serve in the ninth game, but was thwarted by an ace up the T. Unable to close out the match there, the momentum – and avalanche of crowd support – went Federer’s way, the Swiss man winning four consecutive games to bring the match even, two sets apiece.

But it wasn’t to be for the 17-time major champion, who hadn’t been in a major final since winning here two years ago. Djokovic’s victory stopped his three-match skid in Grand Slam finals and will vault him to the No.1 ranking on Monday, his first time there since September of 2013.

“It wasn't easy to regroup; I don't know how I managed to do it,” an emotional Djokovic said on court after the match. “This is the tournament I always dreamed of winning – the best in the world, the most valuable one."   

"You know it's going to be tough facing him – sometimes rough physically,” said Federer. “I can only say congratulations: an amazing match, an amazing tournament, and deserved, well deserved. I thought it was a great final. Can't believe I made it to five – wasn't looking good for a while! I hoped it would be enough."

Honorary Match of the Day: [15] Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)/Sam Stosur (AUS) d [14] Max Mirnyi (BLR)/Hao-Ching Chan (TPE) 6-4, 6-2
She played the first match on court on Day One of The Championships – and the last match on Day 13, too. Stosur grabbed her first Grand Slam victory since the singles title at the 2011 US Open with a mixed doubles title alongside doubles expert Zimonjic, who made it a sweep for Team Serbia on Centre Court on Sunday. They beat doubles buffs Mirnyi/Chan in straight sets, Stosur muscling through the final service game.

Crowned Champions
Boys’ Singles
[Q] Noah Rubin (USA) d [6] Stefan Kozlov (USA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

There was solace in the American effort at this Wimbledon in the form of the boys’ singles final. After no US player advanced past the third round in singles at The Championships for the first time since 1911, it was an all-American boys’ final, a first in that event since 1977. Rubin, a New York native, channelled the achievements of his former coach John McEnroe with a win over his fellow American Kozlov, who he also calls a friend. The 18-year-old is the first American to win the boys’ title here since Donald Young in 2007.   

Girls’ Singles
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) d [8] Kristina Schmiedlova (SVK) 2-6, 6-3, 6-0

Will we have another tennis star from Latvia? Hailing from the same country as men’s player Ernests Gulbis, Ostapenko won the girls’ title going away on Saturday, coming away with the third set without dropping a game against the No.8 seed. Ostapenko had beaten Schmiedlova in the final of the prestigious Roehampton junior event two weeks ago.

Also winners on Sunday: Orlando Luz and Marcelo Zormann in boys’ doubles; Tami Grende and Ye Qiu Yu in girls’ doubles; Stephane Houdet and Shingo Kunieda in men’s wheelchair doubles; and Yui Kamiji and Jordanne Whiley in women’s wheelchair doubles.

Photo of the Day: Above, two champions exit the Centre Court stage following a masterful display, Djokovic clutching the Wimbledon trophy once again.

Tweet of the Day: After a gripping day of tennis, the congratulations went flooding through the social media world.





Stat of the Day: It was the 35th meeting between Federer and Djokovic on this day, the same number of meetings of their two coaches when they played: Boris Becker held a 25-10 edge over Stefan Edberg, though Edberg won two out of their three meetings in Wimbledon finals, played between 1988 and 1990.  

'Did you just see?' of the Day: The men’s final. It was an electric atmosphere all afternoon long inside Centre Court, where Djokovic and Federer cooked up a classic in front of a packed house. It’ll be added to the reel of rain-delay musts for years to come.

Quote of the Day: Another major – number seven – for Djokovic, but a first in over 18 months. It was an emotional experience for the Serb:

"I dedicate it to my future wife and our future baby. I would like to dedicate it to my whole family and my team. And last but not least I dedicate this title to my first coach that taught me all the basics: Jelena Gencic. She passed away last year and this is for her."

Federer is graceful in defeat, but not satisfied: "It was a match that had everything I think for the fans. I thought it was an interesting match. I don't feel I played my absolute very best – I didn't break for three sets. But it was a great match and I enjoyed being part of it."

Video of the Day: Back on the wall of champions and congratulated by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Not a bad day, right? Not a bad tournament.

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