Djokovic Returns To No. 1 With Wimbledon Victory
Novak Djokovic will return to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday after winning his seventh Grand Slam championship at Wimbledon. The Serb denied Roger Federer an unprecedented eighth title at The Championships, winning Sunday’s final 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4.
Djokovic will return to the top spot for the first time since being usurped by Rafael Nadal on 7 October 2013. He will begin his 102nd week at World No. 1 on Monday.
The 27-year-old Djokovic turned the tide in Grand Slam finals, having lost five of his past six coming into the Wimbledon final. He lifted the trophy at the All England Club for the second time, having previously triumphed in 2011 with victory over Nadal.
"I want to congratulate Roger on a great tournament and great fight today," said Djokovic in his on-court speech. "It was a great match to be part of. He's a magnificent champion, a great example of a great athlete and a role model for many kids. I respect his career and everything he's done. Thank you for letting me win today."
Djokovic had the chance to seal victory in four sets when he led 5-2 in the fourth set. The right-hander served for the match at 5-3, but could not close it out as Federer fought back. The Serb was then denied on a match point in the following game, as Federer hit an ace, and five straight games for the Swiss forced a deciding set.
Djokovic missed three break point chances in the eighth game of the decider, but when presented with two more match points in the 10th game, did not falter. He won the dramatic match in four minutes shy of four hours.
"I was hoping Roger was going to miss the first serve [on match point]. It didn't happen. That's why he has 17 Grand Slams and is the most successful player ever. In the important moments, he comes up with his best tennis. I had to regroup and find the energy to win the fifth set."
The Belgrade native joins John McEnroe and Mats Wilander in joint-eighth place on the list for most Grand Slam singles titles in the Open Era. It was his first major victory since the 2013 Australian Open (d. Murray). Since then, he had finished runner-up at Wimbledon (l. to Murray) and the US Open (l. to Nadal) last year and last month at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal).
"It was a great final," said Federer in his on-court speech. "I can't believe I made it to five. It wasn't looking good there for a while. You know going into a match with Novak it's always going to be tough; we play athletic points. I can only say congratulations today for an amazing match, amazing tournament and well deserved."