Djokovic beats Federer to win fifth Wimbledon title

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Novak Djokovic kisses the winner's trophy after beating Roger Federer during their men's singles final at Wimbledon. (AFP)
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Novak Djokovic reacts after defeating Switzerland's Roger Federer during the men's singles final match of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. (AP)
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Federer looked dejected after losing the grueling final. (Reuters)
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Roger Federer reaches for a drop shot from Novak Djokovic during the final. (AFP)
Updated 17 July 2019

Djokovic beats Federer to win fifth Wimbledon title

LONDON: Novak Djokovic saved two match points to clinch a fifth Wimbledon title and 16th major on Sunday, shattering Roger Federer’s bid to become the oldest Grand Slam champion in the longest final ever played at the tournament.
Despite being outplayed by the 37-year-old Swiss for large parts of the knife-edge encounter, the world number one triumphed 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 13-12 (7/3).
At 4 hours and 57 minutes, it was the longest Wimbledon final ever played and settled by a final set tiebreak for the first time.
Djokovic is the first man in 71 years to win the title from match points down.
He is now level with Bjorn Borg as a five-time Wimbledon winner.


“I think that if this is not the most exciting final then definitely it’s in the top two or three of my career against one of the greatest players of all time, Roger, who I respect,” said Djokovic.
“Unfortunately in this type of match someone has to lose. It is quite unreal to be two match points down to come back and strange to play a tie-break at 12-12.”
Djokovic is just four Grand Slam titles shy of the all-time record held by Federer who is more than five years older.
It was incredibly tough on Federer, chasing a ninth Wimbledon crown, who didn’t face a break point until the eighth game of the fourth set.
He even had two match points in the 16th game of the deciding set which lasted over two hours.
“It was long and it had everything. I had answers, so did he and we played some great tennis,” said Federer.
“I hope I give some other people at 37 the feeling it is not over yet.”
Djokovic’s win meant that the ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis — himself, Federer and Rafael Nadal — have won the last 11 Slams.
He has now won nine of his last 11 clashes against Federer and three of their four Wimbledon meetings.
With William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge looking on from the Royal Box, Federer carved out the only break point of the opening set.
But Djokovic saved it and with serve dominating, the set was decided by the tiebreak.
The top seed was 3-1 up, then Federer inched to 5-3 before Djokovic swept the next four points.
At 58 minutes, it was two minutes longer than the women’s final on Saturday.
Djokovic, however, then went completely off the boil, losing his footing as he was broken in the first game of the second set.
Federer broke twice again and after just 25 more minutes the final was all-square with Djokovic managing just two winners in the set.
Federer was comfortably on top in the third set, flashing winners from all parts of the court but was unable to convert a set point in the 10th game.
Djokovic made him pay. Despite not managing a single break point in the match, he pounced again in the tiebreak to reclaim the lead.
Federer wasn’t finished. Back came the veteran with a double break for 5-2.
Djokovic then carved out his first break points of the match in the eighth game.
The first was saved after a breathtaking 35-shot rally before the Serb finally broke for the first time.
It was too little, too late, however, as Federer deservedly levelled the final.
Into a tense finale, Federer saved three break points in the fourth game but a drilled, backhand passing shot gave Djokovic the break in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead.
The world number one couldn’t back it up and Federer had Center Court on their feet when he restored parity in the next game.
Despite twice being just two points from defeat, Federer broke for 8-7 but was unable to serve out for the match.
As the clock ticked past the previous longest final of 4 hours and 48 minutes it took Nadal to beat Federer in the 2008 final, the match was decided by the first 12-12 tiebreak in a singles match at the tournament.
Djokovic prevailed, moving to three championship points and claiming victory when Federer shanked a return wide.
Federer finished with 25 aces and 94 winners to Djokovic 10 aces and 54 winners.


Gasol clinches rare NBA-World Cup double as Spain down Argentina

Updated 16 September 2019

Gasol clinches rare NBA-World Cup double as Spain down Argentina

  • Toronto Raptors center Mark Gasol becomes the second player to win an NBA title and a FIBA world gold medal in the same year

 

BEIJING: Three-time All-Star Marc Gasol became only the second man to win an NBA crown and the World Cup in the same year after Spain brushed aside Argentina 95-75 on Sunday.

Spain, who survived double overtime against Australia to reach the final, led throughout in Beijing to win international basketball’s biggest prize a second time.

The only previous occasion was in 2006 with the two Gasol brothers, Marc and older sibling Pau, on the team.

Pau did not feature in China because of injury.

The latest triumph was particularly sweet for the 34-year-old center Gasol, who three months ago also played a key part in the Toronto Raptors’ run to the NBA title.

Gasol, who had 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, joins Lamar Odom, a double winner in 2010 with the US and Los Angeles Lakers.

Surprise finalists Argentina had not triumphed since they hosted the inaugural World Cup in 1950.

As a contest, the final was over by the fourth quarter — although the Argentines did rally belatedly to reduce Spain’s previously mighty lead.

Fans of both teams had made it feel more like a football match, decked out in their national colors, chanting loudly and refusing to sit down.

Spain, for whom Ricky Rubio of the Phoenix Suns has been one of the leading players of the tournament in China, surged into a 14-2 lead.

In front of a capacity crowd, Argentina’s 39-year-old talisman Luis Scola could not escape the attentions of Pierre Oriola.

Led by their slick-haired Italian coach Sergio Scariolo, Spain were up 21-14 going into the second quarter and increased their advantage to 43-31 at halftime.

With Rubio prominent, drilling 20 points, Spain never looked like surrendering their lead, repeatedly thwarting Argentina’s suffocated offense.

France roared back after halftime to defeat Australia 67-59 and claim a second World Cup bronze in a row — and extend the Boomers’ long wait for a major medal.

Turkish-based guard Nando De Colo led all scorers with 19 points for France and Nicolas Batum had nine points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals.

The French, one of the tallest teams at the tournament, defeated reigning two-time holders the US in the quarterfinals, but then lost heavily to Argentina.

“For us it’s something very, very special and important we did it after a very difficult first half,” French coach Vincent Collet said.

“Many teams could have given up, even easy shots we were missing in the first half.

“We started to move the ball better in the second half and that’s why we won this game.”

It was hard on Australia, who similarly led for long periods in their semifinal against Spain.

It is still the best finish for the Boomers, who had never gone beyond the quarterfinals at 11 previous World Cups, but they are yet to claim a medal at the worlds or Olympics.

Deposed champions the US, who were missing their elite names, finished seventh, their lowest position in tournament history.

They did, at least, qualify to defend their Olympic title in Tokyo next summer. With 32 teams, this was the biggest Basketball World Cup ever.

The next one will be in 2023 in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.