World No1 Novak Djokovic has vowed to replicate the dominance of fellow Wimbledon champion Serena Williams after successfully defending his crown with victory over seven-time winner Roger Federer yesterday.
A ruthless Djokovic overpowered Federer in four sets, 7-6 (7-1), 6-7 (10-12), 6-4, 6-3, in two hours and 56 minutes to seal a third title at the All England Club, equalling the number won by his coach, Boris Becker. It was also the ninth grand slam success of the Serbian’s career.
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Had Djokovic beaten world No4 Stan Wawrinka in last month’s French Open final, he, like Williams, would be heading to the US Open in August bidding to secure a calendar grand slam, and complete his own version of the so-called Serena Slam.
Australia great Rod Laver is the only male player in the open era to have held all four Majors simultaneously, in 1969, and in turn complete a calendar grand slam, something Djokovic has targeted.
“Serena has achieved something incredible. I hope for her that she makes the Golden Slam. For me, I’m going to try to follow her lead, try to repeat everything she does,” said Djokovic.
“I have hopefully many more years in front of me. I’m 28, I feel good, I don’t feel old. I’m going to try to push my own limits and see how far I can go with titles and with myself playing at this high level.”
World No2 Federer was bidding to become the first man in history to win the SW19 title for an eighth time and valiantly saved seven set points in the second to clinch a thrilling tie break 12-10 and level the match at 1-1.
But crucial breaks of serve in the third and fourth sets mean Federer remains without a grand slam gong since 2012, although the 33-year-old has refused to accept his title-winning days are over.
“I lost against the world No1 at the moment, that’s the kind of guy you probably can lose against,” said Federer. “But I’m not going to accept it and say, it’s normal. It’s not.
“I’ve beaten him a few times. I’m one of the few guys that’s got a chance and have given Novak a run for the money.”
■ Djokovic has now won nine grand slams in his career; the eighth best record in men’s singles tennis
■ His latest victory in a Major moved him above the likes of Connors, Lendl and Agassi on the list of all-time grand slam winners
■ A third Wimbledon crown sees him draw level with Becker and McEnroe