Djokovic denies Fed in classic
Novak Djokovic landed his second Wimbledon title and denied Roger Federer a record-breaking eighth crown at the All England Club following a thrilling five-set win over his Swiss rival in Sunday's final.
Djokovic, who returns to the summit as world No 1 following his seventh grand slam victory, battled back from a set down and regrouped after a fourth set collapse to beat Federer 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 5-7 6-4 in a classic encounter on Centre Court.
The victory ends a run of final agony for the Serb, who had lost five of his previous six at major events, and sees him leapfrog Rafael Nadal at the top of the world rankings.
Federer, who turns 33 next month, was seeking an 18th major title, and took plenty of momentum into the deciding set after battling back from two sets and 5-2 down to win five successive games and force the fifth set the fans were baying for.
Despite the encouragement of the majority of the crowd, Federer was denied a historic eighth title, Djokovic showing immense character and consistency from the baseline to prevail in just under four hours of pulsating tennis.
The Swiss fourth seed drew first blood despite being on the backfoot for most of the opening set.
The seven-time champion saved two set points before taking the tie-break 9-7 after Djokovic found the net on the backhand side.
Having missed his chance in the first set, Djokovic pressed at the start of the second but Federer saved the first two break points of the match.
There was also concern for Djokovic, who had slipped numerous times against Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals, when he took his first fall of the final. It was a heavy one, and the pain on his face was evident.
By the time the trainer arrived to have a look at his left ankle, the Serbian had made the breakthrough, sweeping a backhand pass beyond Federer, who was rushing to the net at every opportunity.
It was only the second time in the tournament that Federer's serve had been broken.
He could make no real impression on Djokovic's until the top seed served for the set, when a nervy forehand gave Federer his first break point.
But Djokovic's serve came to the rescue and he clinched the set 6-4 with a smash to level the match.
Neither player could force a break in the third set and Djokovic this time gained his revenge in the tie-breaker, prevailing 7-4.
A Djokovic victory looked inevitable when he powered into a 5-2 lead in the fourth set, only for Federer to launch an inspired fightback.
The Swiss reeled off five games in succession and staved off Championship point to force a decider as both players retreated to the changing rooms for a much-needed comfort break.
Federer appeared the fresher player as both held serve for nine nervy games, however Djokovic struck a telling blow in the 10th to claim his second Wimbledon title, three years after his first.