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'This will take some time to recover from physically'

Novak Djokovic prevailed against Roger Federer in the longest ever final played at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon 2019 - Day Thirteen - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club PA Wire / PA Images Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer after today's final. PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

NOVAK DJOKOVIC SAID it was “unreal” to be holding the Wimbledon trophy for a fifth time having saved two match points against eight-time champion Roger Federer in today’s final.

The 32-year-old Serbian, winning back-to-back Wimbledon titles for the second time, prevailed in an epic duel, the longest ever final and the first decided by a deciding set tie-break.

Djokovic, who was out-played for large parts of the match by his 37-year-old opponent, eventually prevailed 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 13-12 (7/3) in 4 hours and 57 minutes.

“It is quite unreal to be two match points down to come back and strange to play a tie-break at 12-12. I was hoping to get to the tie break,” he said.

Djokovic paid a handsome tribute to his Swiss rival.

“I think that if this is not the most exciting final then it’s definitely in the top two or three of my career against one of the greatest players of all time, Roger, who I respect,” said Djokovic. “Unfortunately in these type of matches someone has to lose.”

Wimbledon 2019 - Day Thirteen - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club PA Wire / PA Images Djokovic defeated Federer 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 13-12 (7/3) in 4 hours and 57 minutes. PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Djokovic — who joined Swedish legend Bjorn Borg on winning five Wimbledon trophies — said it had always been his dream to win when he was growing up.

“When I was a boy aged four or five, dreaming to be a tennis player, this has always been the tournament for me,” he said.

“I used to make trophies out of different materials in my room and being here to share it with my parents, my son, and my team is extra special. I would like to say to my parents especially, thank you for everything.”

Federer, who agonisingly saw his bid of becoming the oldest ever Grand Slam champion, as well as winning a ninth title slip from his fingers, joked at first about being part of another epic final. He had also been on the wrong end of the previous longest final, losing to Rafael Nadal in 2008.

“I will try to forget but it was a great match,” he said. “It was long, it had everything. I had answers, so did he, and we played some great tennis. I am happy with my performance. Congratulations, Novak. That was crazy.”

Federer said he hoped he set an example to other people of his age.

Wimbledon 2019 - Day Thirteen - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Victoria Jones The players show off their prizes. Victoria Jones

“I hope I give some other people at 37 the feeling it is not over yet, I feel great,” he said. This will take some time to recover from physically. I gave it all I had, I am still standing and hope it is the same for other 37-year-olds.”

Federer said his children may not be the happiest they have been.

“They won’t be excited with the plate — they would rather take the gold thing (the trophy).”

© – AFP, 2019

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