Novak Djokovic felt he was 'on the back foot' for most of Wimbledon final win
Runner-up Roger Federer: "I will try to forget (this final)."
By James Simpson
Last Updated: 15/07/19 11:37am
Novak Djokovic says he was "on the back foot" for most of his historic Wimbledon win over Roger Federer.
The world No 1 saved two championship points and won a final-set tie-break to defeat eight-time champion Federer and claim his fifth Wimbledon title and 16th Grand Slam on Sunday.
Djokovic won three tie breaks in the match, and maintained his focus through a final set which lasted two hours and two minutes, but said his opponent had the upper hand throughout.
"I thought most of the match I was on the back foot actually," he said. "I was defending. He was dictating the play.
"I just tried to fight and find a way when it mattered the most, which is what happened.
"I thought I could have played better. But at the same time one thing that probably allowed me to come back and save match points and win this match was the mental stability in those moments.
"You need to be constantly playing well throughout five hours if you want to win a match like this. I guess there is an endurance part.
"But I think there is always this self-belief. You have to keep reminding yourself that you're there for a reason and that you are better than the other guy."
The Serb claimed his fifth Wimbledon title and 16th Grand Slam - not far behind Federer's 20 and Rafael Nadal's 18 - and said the performances of his rivals has spurred him on to success.
"It seems like I'm getting closer," Djokovic said. "But also they're winning slams. We're kind of complementing each other. We're making each other grow and evolve and still be in this game.
"The fact that they made history... motivates me as well, inspires me to try to do what they have done, what they've achieved, and even more.
"Whether I'm going to be able to do it or not, I don't know. I'm not just a tennis player, I'm a father and a husband. You have to balance things out."
37-year-old Federer was a shot away from becoming the oldest man to win a major in the professional era. After missing out in heartbreaking fashion, he said: "I will try to forget (this final).
"I don't know what I feel right now. I just feel like it's such an incredible opportunity missed, I can't believe it."
The second seed produced more winners (94-54), won more break points (7-3), had a higher first serve percentage (63-62), served more aces (25-10) and, most tellingly, won more points during the contest (218-204). But Federer did not win, and was left wondering what went wrong.
"I know what I did well, how close I was. You try to forget, try to take the good things out of this match. There's just tons of it," he said.
"Similar to '08 maybe [when Federer was defeated by Nadal in the now second-longest men's singles final at Wimbledon]. For now it hurts, and it should, like every loss does here at Wimbledon.
"Sure there's similarities (with the defeat in 2008). I'm the loser both times, so that's the only similarity I see."