Steel-plated Djokovic a step too far for Federer

Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:35pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic again revealed the true depth of his steely core to grind Wimbledon idol Roger Federer's hopes of a record eighth title into Centre Court's baseline dust on Sunday.

With a sell-out crowd urging Federer to scale the same dizzy heights he reached in eclipsing Britain's Andy Murray in Friday's semi-final, Djokovic shrugged off losing a stomach-churning second-set tiebreak to prevail 7-6(1) 6-7(10) 6-4 6-3.

After swiping away a forehand winner to end a two hour 56 minute contest that crackled into life midway through but then fizzled out, top seed Djokovic roared to the grey London sky before kneeling down and nibbling some of the cherished turf.

"In the end when I finished the last point, I took out everything that was in me," Djokovic, who has rebounded magnificently from losing the French Open final to Stanislas Wawrinka and missing out on a full set of majors, said.

"It's a great achievement. Even though it's the third title here, it feels like the first.

"Obviously, I was disappointed and heartbroken (to lose the French), but if there is one thing that I learned in the sport it's to recover fast and to leave things behind and move on."

For the second year running in the All England Club's showpiece final Federer played majestically but could not break down the defenses of the game's ultimate warrior.

Twelve months ago he pushed the Serb to five sets. This time the Swiss maestro's challenge fizzled out in anti-climactic fashion and Djokovic dominated the third and fourth sets of his 17th grand slam final with clinical precision.   Continued...

Winner, Novak Djokovic of Serbia and runner up Roger Federer of Switzerland pose with their trophies after their Men's Singles Final match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 12, 2015.   REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth