Djokovic declares Wimbledon victory 'most special moment'
Federer comeback fails at the last but Swiss legend vows to return in search of an eighth title
Novak Djokovic lifted the men's singles title at Wimbledon and declared his epic five-set victory over Roger Federer in the Wimbledon' men's final was "the most special" moment of his career.
The Serb, who had lost five of his last six Grand Slam finals, won a thrilling encounter 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-4 after missing a championship point and letting a 5-2 lead slip in the fourth set as Federer stormed back into the contest. The Serb's victory sees him return to number one in the world rankings.
Djokovic had to dig deep for his win after the momentum swung dramatically in Federer's favour as the Swiss star took that fourth set, winning five games on the trot to recover from a break down. However, Djokovic dug in and redeemed his earlier slip to win the fifth and with it the tournament.
As the end of the match, he fell to his knees and was in tears when he was presented with his winner's trophy. Turning to his vanquished opponent, he said: "I respect everything you have done and thanks for letting me win today."
And although he declared his victory the "most special", he is likely to have several more such moments this year. Djokovic is to marry his girlfriend Jelena Ristic next week and the couple's first child is due in October.
Djokovic's win brought to an end a run of three straight final defeats for the 27-year-old, who has now won seven titles. He has won one more grand slam than Boris Becker, who he controversially brought in as his head coach earlier this year.
"I am very relieved to win a Grand Slam with Boris," said Djokovic, having missed out in this year's Australian Open and French Open. "Many people doubted that decision, but I am sure it is a great combination."
The 15,000-strong crowd, which included Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, David and Victoria Beckham, and movie stars Samuel L Jackson and Bradley Cooper, was thrilled by the dramatic encounter, which was three hours and 56 minutes long.
Chants of "Roger! Roger!" filled the air, with most spectators firmly on the side of the 32-year-old Swiss legend, who was denied the chance to take a record-breaking eighth title at the All England Club.
But Federer, who lost just one set on route to the Wimbledon final, says he hopes his overall performance in the tournament will be a "stepping stone" to further success. "I'm very happy to see that I can produce a performance like I did the last two weeks," said the seven-time champion.
He also vowed to return next year as he hunts an eighth title, although time is against him and the 32-year-old may never get as close to the Wimbledon title as he did this year.
Djokovic trousers £1.76m in prize money for his victory, while Federer collects £880,000 as the runner-up.