Novak Djokovic again dashed Roger Federer’s hopes of winning a record eighth Wimbledon crown as the Serbian ripped up the script to defend his title at the All England Club.
Federer’s form suggested he was capable of clinching his first grand slam success since 2012 but Djokovic ousted the Swiss for the second year running to win 7-6 (7/1) 6-7 (10/12) 6-4 6-3.
A stunning second-set tie-break went Federer’s way on Centre Court but Djokovic was irresistible thereafter, sealing his ninth major triumph, which now includes three at Wimbledon.
“I was aware Roger was going to play like he always plays, at his best when it matters the most,” Djokovic said afterwards on court.
“He pushes you to your limits, and asks you to work hard on every point. He won’t hand you the match.
“That added a bit more pressure but these parts of matches you work all your life for. You envision yourself being on Centre Court in this tournament and holding this trophy. It’s a thrilling feeling.”
It means Djokovic joins John McEnroe and his coach Boris Becker in the group of treble champions at Wimbledon and on this evidence few would argue there may be many more to come.
Federer had produced one of his finest displays against Andy Murray in the semi-finals but this is Djokovic’s era of dominance, and he cemented his status as the stand-out player in the world with a clinical, dynamic and brutally efficient display.
“Novak played not only great today but for the whole two weeks, plus the year, plus last year, plus the year before that. He deserves it,” Federer said.
“He was tougher on the big points, and at the end he was rock solid. He played great and I didn’t play bad myself so I can be happy.”