LONDON: Even if he surpasses people’s champion Roger Federer as the greatest Grand Slam title winner of all time, Novak Djokovic has vowed to convince fans that he is not public enemy number one.
Despite being outplayed by the 37-year-old Swiss for large parts of the knife-edge encounter, the top seed emerged victorious 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 13-12 (7/3).
It was the longest Wimbledon final that lasts 4 hours and 57 minutes and the first to be settled by a final set tiebreak.
The intensifying game made Djokovic the first man in 71 years to win the title from match points down, saving two in the 16th game of the deciding set. This shatters Federer’s bid to become the oldest Grand Slam champion in the longest final ever contested at the tournament.
His major title tally is now just two behind Rafael Nadal and four off the all-time men’s Grand Slam record of 20 held by Federer.
After his epic triumph on Sunday, Djokovic said that he was able to turn the overwhelmingly pro-Federer, 14,000-strong Centre Court crowd in his favour by training his mind. “I like to transmutate it in a way: When the crowd is chanting ‘Roger’ I hear ‘Novak’,” said the 32-year-old Djokovic.