In the ultimate clash of titans, Roger Federer had everything in his hands against Novak Djokovic in the 2019 Wimbledon final, his last Major title clash. The Swiss won 14 points more than the Serb, scored four breaks more than Novak, had 40 winners more and two match points and two break points at 11-11 in the decider up for grabs, squandering all that and allowing Djokovic to prevail in the longest Wimbledon final ever.
The defending champion gave his best to stay in touch with Federer, who was the better player in the more significant part of the encounter. Novak repelled those two match points on the return at 7-8 in the fifth set and produced the nerves of steel in all three tie breaks to write history and stay in the GOAT race with Roger and Rafa.
The overall numbers were on Federer's side. Still, Djokovic did what he had to in the pivotal moments, carried by the incredible inner strength that helped him overpower Roger and the crowd en route to the fifth Wimbledon crown.
Two hours and 15 minutes since the beginning of the match, Novak was yet to experience a break chance and was two sets to one in front despite that! The Serb gained a massive boost from those two tie breaks he won and looked like a strong favorite in the deciding one at 12-12 in the fifth set, the first of that kind in the history of this event that started in 1877!
In the first set tie break, Federer led 5-3 before dropping four straight points to hand it to Djokovic, who did not have to do much in those 12 points, hitting no winners or errors and allowing Roger to make mistakes and ruin everything he was building in the last 55 minutes.
The Swiss quickly left this setback behind him, storming over Djokovic to grab the second set 6-1 in no time. Roger stood as a better player in the third but wasted a break chance that installed the second tie break. Novak clinched it 7-4 after Roger's six errors, four in an unforced area from the backhand wing that cost him a slow start and a better finish.
Roger Federer wasted two match points against Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon 2019.
After all kinds of drama in the deciding set and survived games 16 and 23, Novak was the favorite in the crucial tie break that he claimed 7-3 to wrap up the title and one of his most extraordinary victories ever.
The Serb moved 4-1 in front after four errors from Federer, who landed two winners to reduce the deficit and stay in contention. Suddenly, Djokovic delivered two winners from the court (his only in all three tie breaks) in the best possible moment to open a 6-3 gap and seal the deal after Federer's loose forehand in the tenth point.
Roger hit the last ball in 29 out of 33 points in all three tie breaks, leaving Novak on three winners and one forced error! On the other hand, the eight-time champion counted six service winners and five from the court but threw all that after massive 13 unforced mistakes and five that Novak forced.
Roger's former coach Paul Annacone said that the Swiss did nothing wrong in the final, just failing to make that one last step against the most excellent defender in history. The American understood how upset Roger was after the match, but he recalled that the Swiss once said he won encounters he should have lost.
"I do not think Roger did anything wrong other than trying to close it out against what I think is the greatest defender in the game's history. You can blame nerves and many different things, but sometimes you lose, making your jaw hit the table when you see how close you are.
I know he was extremely upset, but I have also had conversations with him in the past about the matches against Novak at the US Open. Those losses were also tough to accept, but Roger was there to remind me he also had some victories that he should not have scored," Paul Annacone said.