Roger Federer may have been the crowd favourite in the Wimbledon final, but eventual winner Novak Djokovic used the partisan Centre Court audience to his advantage as he claimed a fifth title at the All England Club.
The Swiss had two match points on serve at 8-7 in the deciding set but Djokovic fought back valiantly and ultimately downed the Swiss in what he described as the most mentally challenging final of his life.
Djokovic has played longer matches – notably the Australian Open 2012 final against Rafael Nadal – but this five-hour win over Federer was the longest in Wimbledons history – and the first time a tiebreaker had been used to decide a five-setter at 12-12.
It was abundantly clear the Wimbledon faithful would have preferred Swiss darling Federer to get over the line, but Djokovic had a sneaky trick up his sleeve to use their support for his opponent to his advantage.
At times you just try to ignore it, which is quite hard, Djokovic said. I like to transmutate it in a way: When the crowd is chanting Roger I hear Novak. It sounds silly, but it is like that. I try to convince myself that its like that.
I mean, its hard to not be aware. You have that kind of electric atmosphere, that kind of noise, especially in some decisive moments where were quite even. Its one way or another. The crowd gets into it.
Of course, if you have the majority of the crowd on your side, it helps, it gives you motivation, it gives you strength, it gives you energy. When you dont, then you have to find it within, I guess.
It wasnt always a vintage performance from the Serb but he remained largely calm throughout – something that was part of his gameplan.
He added: I mean, that was one thing that I promised myself coming on to the court today, that I need to stay calm and composed, because I knew that the atmosphere will be as it was.
Obviously Roger is playing well. I mean, I kind of predicted the scenarios in my head already, visualised whats going to happen.
It was probably the most demanding, mentally most demanding, match I was ever part of. I had the most physically demanding match against Nadal in the finals of Australia that went almost six hoursRead More – Source