How The Wimbledon Final Was Won
by James Buddell|
Top seed and 2011 champion Novak Djokovic defeated fourth seed and seven-time former titlist Roger Federer 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 on Sunday afternoon in the final of The Championships at the All England Club, Wimbledon. Djokovic could not convert one championship point at 5-4, 30/40 on Federer's serve, in the fourth set.
By winning the Wimbledon title for a second time, Djokovic recaptured No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since Rafael Nadal usurped him on 7 October 2013. Federer is assured of being World No. 3 on Monday. Federer had been seeking his 18th Grand Slam championship crown, while Djokovic nets his seventh major.
The 2014 Wimbledon final marks the first time that the top seed played a No. 4 seed in a Grand Slam championship final since the 2004 US Open when No. 1 Federer defeated No. 4 Lleyton Hewitt.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge watched the match unfold from the Royal Box.
ATPWorldTour.com provides set-by-set analysis of the final…
Holding their own on the baseline, both Djokovic and Federer struck their groundstrokes at the top of the bounce. The majority of the rallies were played out backhand-to-backhand. At 4-5, 15/30, Federer came under terrific pressure in a lengthy rally, but a backhand slice was struck deep with pace that caught Djokovic off-guard. On the next point, Federer once again executed terrific defence en route to a big hold.
In the tie-break, Federer moved into a 3/0 lead. Yet, Djokovic maintained his composure to win five of the next six points. At 5/5, Djokovic lunged for a forehand return and hit the ball deep. Federer mis-timed a forehand response, with the court open to him. Incredibly, Federer saved the set point with a gutsy forehand down the line that hit the line. Federer withstood a second set point at 6/7, when he hit an ace and went on to strike another unreturned serve. Djokovic hit a backhand into the net at 7-8, to end a 52-minute set. Djokovic had won 83 per cent of his first service points and hit 18 winners. Yet, Federer’s aggression was highlighted in winning 12 of 17 points at the net. He also committed seven unforced errors.
Djokovic played with great composure, yet a fall onto his left side in the second game temporarily fazed him. Federer recovered from 0/30 to 40/30 at 1-1, yet Djokovic bounced back to strike a clean backhand pass for the first break of the match. At the change of ends, the Serbian received treatment for a left ankle injury. Federer continued to battle and won three straight points from 0/40 in a seven-minute fourth game, which Djokovic clinched on his sixth game point for a 3-1 lead.
Having looked up to the sky for inspiration towards the end of the first set, Djokovic had his game face on in the second. Although Federer tested his resistance when serving for the set at 5-4, Djokovic saved one break point at 30/40 and wrapped up the 43-minute set with a smash winner. Djokovic subsequently left the court.
Each player was aggressive in the third set. At 4-5, with Djokovic serving, Federer pressed his claims to win the set. But Djokovic moved sublimely to stay in front under pressure. In the next game, it was Djokovic’s turn. Federer saved two break points with two big serves and at 5-6, Djokovic was fleet of foot to take the passage of play into a tie-break.
Djokovic created a mini break at 2/2, when Federer hesitated when serve and volleying, with a backhand pass down the line. Federer became anxious on his forehand, not striking the ball cleanly. At 6/4, Djokovic gave Federer very little to attack and worked the point to the Swiss star’s backhand, which resulted in the error. Federer hit 13 aces and won 85 per cent of his first service points, but Djokovic’s defensive game earned him the set that included just two unforced errors.
The standard of play reached a high midway through the fourth set. Djokovic looked to stamp his authority on the match when he had Federer at 0/40 in the third set. Federer recovered to deuce, but the culmulative effect of running down Djokovic’s groundstrokes cost him when he struck a forehand long on his opponent’s eighth break point opportunity. Djokovic hit eight of eight returns into play.
The Centre Court crowd willed Federer on to an immediate riposte and in an inspiring period of play, the 32 year old recovered a break with a running forehand crosscourt winner to get back to 2-3. However, Djokovic retaliated to seal the third service break in a row. Prior to Djokovic serving for the championship at 5-4, Federer went to his bag to change his racquet. Djokovic got edgy and lost the first two points, but he recovered to 30/30 with a clever change of pace in attacking the net and a well-timed serve. Federer took a chance and earned a break point chance at 30/40, which saw Djokovic diving for a forehand. Federer stroked the shot back into an open court and pumped his fist in celebration of the service break.
At 4-5, Federer hit a double fault – his fifth of the match – at 30/15, then struck a backhand into the net to gift Djokovic hit first championship point. Federer hit an ace down the middle – confirmed by a Hawk Eye challenge. Minutes later, with tensions high, Federer clinched the game. Inflicted with self-doubt, Djokovic dropped to 0/40 in the next game. Djokovic recovered two points, with unreturned serves, but it was third time lucky for Federer, who moved swiftly to strike three successive forehands that resulted in a Djokovic error. Federer's confidence surged with a hold to 15 - his fifth game in a row. For the first time since 2009, when Federer beat Andy Roddick 16-14 in the fifth set in the final, the title match was going the full distance.
At 3-3, Federer came close to breaking Djokovic at 30/40. But Djokovic moved forward and attacked Federer’s backhand, only for the Swiss to slice a backhand into the net. In the next game, Djokovic pressed on Federer’s serve. Federer found himself at 15/40 and on Djokovic’s third break point opportunity at advantage played a clutch half volley, highlighting his soft hands, to get out of trouble. After a seven-minute service gam, Federer got out of jail.
But the end, when it came, was sudden. At 4-5, Federer fell to 0/30, but Djokovic went on to narrowly miss a forehand. The encounter ended when Federer struck a backhand in the net to conclude the three-hour and 56-minute battle. American Robert Falkenburg remains the last man to win Wimbledon having saved a championship point in the final. Falkenburg beat John Bromwich of Australia 7-5, 0-6, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 in 1948 after being three championships points down in the fifth set at 3-5.