Wimbledon 2015: Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer for third title

    Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer at Wimbledon
    Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer at Wimbledon

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    Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer at Wimbledon 01:13

    Wimbledon, England (CNN)The French Open is the grand slam he desperately craves but the green grass of Wimbledon has been much kinder to Novak Djokovic.

    Despite losing a classic tiebreak, Djokovic beat Roger Federer in Sunday's final for the second straight year -- this time it was 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (10) 6-4 6-3 -- to give the world No. 1 a third title at the All England Club and ninth grand slam overall. His trophy haul at tennis' most famous postcode of SW19 matches one of his coaches, Boris Becker.
      Last month the Serb experienced much different emotions when he faced another Swiss, Stan Wawrinka, on the red clay of Roland Garros. He fell to 0-3 in French Open finals and was once again stopped from completing a career grand slam.
      Yet on Sunday, he improved to 3-1 in Wimbledon finals and as per his tradition after his victories, bent over and munched on some of the hallowed grass.
      "I was assured it's gluten free, it's not processed, completely organic and natural and I could eat it," Djokovic, who recently launched his own line of gluten free biscuits, drinks and cereal bars, joked to reporters.
      Actor Bradley Cooper was one of those looking on but Djokovic indeed avoided a French Open hangover.
      "There were a couple of grand slam finals I could have won," Djokovic admitted. "But having said that, everything happens for a reason. I try to learn from every experience, especially the ones that don't end up victorious for me.
      "I'm going to keep going."
      Whereas Becker served-and-volleyed his way to glory in the 1980s, Djokovic bamboozles opponents with an aggressive baseline game, defense and timely serving. He hit 46 winners and made 16 unforced errors in southwest London, compared to Federer's 58 winners but noteworthy 35 unforced errors.
      The slower conditions of the last decade at Wimbledon have contributed to the success of baseline players such as Djokovic while not helping the attack minded like Federer.
      Federer was, for the second consecutive season, deprived of becoming the first man to win eight Wimbledon titles and its oldest men's champion in the Open Era.
      "For me a finalist trophy is not the same," Federer, the men's record 17-time grand slam champion, told reporters. "Everybody knows that. Thankfully I've won here in the past, so it does not feel like I'm chasing anything.
      "Clearly I would have loved to win today. There's no doubt about it. I still think I can be very happy with the level of play."
      Djokovic's display ensured that there wasn't a second 33-year-old winner in singles over the weekend; Serena Williams topped Garbine Muguruza in the women's final Saturday to achieve a second "Serena Slam."
      If the crowd had it their way, Federer would have prevailed. Though not as rowdy in Federer's favor as when the two men squared off in the French Open semifinals in 2011 -- the fans in London are somewhat more polite -- it was clear who those assembled on Center Court wanted to win.
      Djokovic is certainly used to it and claimed he didn't mind.
      "More or less anywhere I play against Roger, it's the same," said Djokovic. "It's just like that. I have to work and earn (the) majority of the support maybe one day."
      That the duo split the first two sets wasn't a surprise -- it happened last year before Djokovic survived a fourth-set meltdown and won in five -- but the order probably should have been reversed.
      Federer has served impeccably this fortnight, only broken once prior to the finale and coming off one of his finest ever serving days in the semifinals against 2013 winner Andy Murray.
      He started in largely the same fashion against Djokovic and broke for 4-2. One thought the set was over.
      Djokovic is the game's best returner and immediately broke back, although the key point of the seventh game was Federer beginning with a backhand volley error with his foe well stranded.
      Becker: Djokovic can retain title
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      Federer then manufactured two set points at 5-6. Djokovic's serve earns far less plaudits than Federer's but two hefty first deliveries got him out of trouble and handed the 28-year-old the momentum heading into the tiebreak.
      Serving well under pressure has been a constant for Djokovic this tournament, with the grass -- still plenty fast enough to beef up serves -- no doubt aiding matters.
      He set the tone in the tiebreak by stretching outside the tram lines and sending a slice backhand winner down the line on the first point. Three Federer unforced errors, including a double fault to conclude the set, gave Djokovic a considerable edge: Only once has the world No. 2 topped Djokovic after dropping the opener.
      "It was a pretty damn good match and the level was pretty high," Federer's co-coach, two-time Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg, told a small group of reporters amid light rain. "In the end it's very little that makes a difference.
      "It would have helped tremendously to get the first set, in which he had some chances."
      When Djokovic held a set point at 5-4 in the second, Federer appeared in deep trouble. He was, though, let off the hook thanks to a forehand long.
      A seesaw stretch commenced, with Djokovic first fending off a break point for 6-5. Leading 6-3 in the second tiebreak, a two-set advantage beckoned.
      But Federer raised his level on his most successful court. He saved one set point by guessing the direction of a Djokovic forehand and zipping a backhand down the line that produced an error. On another set point, he engineered an outrageous second serve and on a third he prevailed in a ferocious forehand to forehand exchange.
      Djokovic rued his seventh and final set point, a forehand going astray. Federer put away a volley to level the affair and Wimbledon had its longest tiebreak in a men's final since 2000 when Pete Sampras lost by the same score to Patrick Rafter.
      Sampras, like Djokovic, won the match in four sets.
      "It's a pity I couldn't make more of the momentum," said Federer.
      A visibly deflated Djokovic squandered two break points in the first game of the third, missing a routine -- for him -- backhand passing shot. Federer returned the favor in the ensuing game by erring on a forehand on break point.
      When Djokovic broke for 2-1, Federer -- who led 40-15 in the game -- never recovered and the drama of the first two sets vanished.
      "When you come through a tiebreak like that winning or losing it's all about getting back to basics," said Edberg. "Maybe Novak did handle it a little bit better because he got the first break in the third set and that probably was the key.
      "If Roger got the first break, maybe things would have been a little bit different."
      After Federer held for 2-3, rain caused a brief 21-minute delay. The timing and duration of the pause, Federer said, could have been better.
      "It was a little bit of a rushed rain delay," he said. "Out, back on, try to speak to your team, try to relax, at the same time stay warm."
      Djokovic wasn't troubled again, registering the key break for 3-2 in the fourth.
      Federer's errors were climbing. He surrendered a mere 11 unforced errors against Murray, yet Djokovic is a cut above the Scot with his -- among other things -- ability to dictate with the forehand and win free points on serve. Federer was always under more pressure.
      A year after Djokovic crumbled in the fourth set, he avoided the same fate by ending proceedings with a forehand winner.
      The roof was subsequently closed ahead of the trophy presentation but Djokovic didn't mind. He had a little more time to take in his achievement -- and digest the grass.
      Another win for Hingis
      Later Sunday, Federer's fellow Swiss Martina Hingis clinched a doubles title under the roof with an Indian partner for the second straight day, combining with Leander Paes to defeat Austria's Alexander Peya and Hungary's Timea Babos 6-1 6-1 in the finale of the mixed event. Hingis and Sania Mirza captured the women's doubles crown Saturday.