ThrowbackTimes Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer to defend crown

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ThrowbackTimes Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer to defend crown

In 2014, Novak Djokovic prevailed over Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer in just under four hours to lift the second Wimbledon title. A year later, Djokovic and Federer were the main protagonists at the All England Club again.

Novak went all the way on July 12, defeating Roger 7-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 56 minutes to become the eighth player in the Open era with back-to-back Wimbledon crowns. Novak was the player to beat in 2015, conquering the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome and moving closer to tennis glory at Roland Garros before losing to Stan Wawrinka in the title match.

Leaving that huge loss behind, Novak returned to the winning path at Wimbledon, scoring five commanding triumphs and overpowering Kevin Anderson from two sets to love down to remain in contention and set another clash with Federer, their 40th on the Tour.

Novak took charge against Roger at Indian Wells and Rome and was eager to beat a great rival again and join Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras and Federer himself on the exclusive list.

Roger gave his best to remain in touch with world no. 1 in the opening two sets, wasting two set points in the first and defending seven in set number two to stay on the level terms. Still, Novak had enough energy to storm over the Swiss in sets three and four and lift the ninth Major crown, leaving Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors on eight.

The Serb won ten points more, playing better on the second serve and having the upper hand in the pivotal moments to fend off six out of seven break opportunities and deliver four breaks that pushed him over the top. The Swiss had more winners and much more unforced errors, unable to tame his shots against the most reliable possible rival who had the advantage in the shortest and most extended rallies to bring the triumph home in under three hours.

Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in four sets in the 2015 Wimbledon final.

Djokovic had 49 service winners in comparison to Federer's 43, delivering the best tennis when he needed it the most to cross the finish line first.

The first big moment came in game six when Roger broke at love following Novak's backhand error. The Serb pulled it back in the next game after forcing the Swiss' mistake at the net. Roger created a set point in game 12 when Novak netted a backhand, and the Serb denied it with a service winner before facing another after Federer's volley winner.

Djokovic blasted another good serve to stay unbroken and took the tie break 7-1 after Roger's double fault to grab the opener in 45 minutes. In set number two, Novak repelled two break points at 2-2 and created a set point after Roger's costly double fault in game ten.

He couldn't seize it, though, and had to defend a break chance at 5-5 that Federer squandered with a loose forehand. From 6-3 down in the tie break, Roger claimed back and repelled six set points to steal the breaker 12-10 with a volley winner and gain a massive boost ahead of the rest of the encounter.

The Swiss saved two break points at the beginning of the third set, and Novak repelled one in the next game to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard before breaking Roger's serve in game three after a terrible forehand from the crowd favorite.

The rain suspended the match at 3-2 for Novak, who played well once they returned and held at love with a smash winner in game ten to take the third set and move closer to the finish line. A deep return pushed Djokovic in front in the fourth set's fifth game, and he wasted two break points at 4-2 that could have sent him further ahead.

From 30-0 down, Novak grabbed four straight points in the eighth game before sealing the deal with a forehand winner a few minutes later, delivering another break and roaring towards the third Wimbledon crown.