Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic revels in Wimbledon win over Roger Federer
Willie Grace | 7/7/2014, 3:58 p.m. | Updated on 7/7/2014, 3:58 p.m.
It was, said Novak Djokovic, the highest level of grand slam tennis he had ever been involved in, an unquestionable highlight of his career.
No wonder after the Serb surpassed such luminaries as his head coach Boris Becker on the all-time list of grand slam winners with a seventh career title after edging Roger Federer for a second Wimbledon crown.
"It means a lot to me," Djokovic -- the newly crowned world No.1 -- told CNN after his 6-7 6-4 7-6 5-7 6-4 victory.
"No doubt this has been the highest level of a grand slam final that I was ever part of.
"I'm proud of the older achievements of my career. Before, the highlight of my career was the 2011 win at Wimbledon but this is even more special because of the fact I had lost five of the previous six grand slam finals.
"I've been through some tough moments privately and professionally."
In a pulsating final, neither player could be separated -- Djokovic seemingly in the ascendancy only to let slip a big advantage leading two sets to one and 5-2, before Federer broke back to force a fifth.
But as two of the defining forces of men's tennis traded blows in a match complete with 143 winners, it was Djokovic who emerged triumphant, putting him on a par with John McEnroe and Mats Wilander on the list of all-time grand slam winners.
A year ago, Andy Murray had blazed past Djokovic in three sets to win Wimbledon.
The Serb's chance of redemption went awry in the final of the subsequent grand slam, the US Open, this time to Rafael Nadal, who was again his vanquisher at last month's French Open final.
"The team has done great work to encourage me to keep on going, I've worked on myself in tennis and off the court to strengthen my mind and learn from the experiences and now it's all paying off," said Djokovic, reflecting on the psychological demons he has fought.
This was the first big win of his nascent relationship with Becker, a partnership that has raised a few eyebrows.
"It's a huge relief for both me and him and the whole team as there was a lot of pressure on us," added Djokovic.
"Since we started working there were a lot of doubts if we could win a grand slam with him as head coach, but we made it and we're going to try to embrace this win and enjoy it."
Djokovic's victory denied Federer an eighth Wimbledon title and 18th career grand slam title, leaving the Swiss without a grand glam win since 2012.
But Djokovic had words of consolation for his opponent.
"Roger proved why he is a 17-time grand slam champion and why he has been so successful and dominant in this sport for so many years because he knows exactly what challenges he's facing and what to play in important moments.
"He didn't drop his level much in the whole match so he didn't give me too many points but I had to earn everything that I had today and that's why I thought the level was tremendous and it makes the win even more special."
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