Poll: Who will finish as tennis’ GOAT?

It may have been the single most important match in the final argument about who is the greatest tennis player of all-time.

After snuffing out Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals, Roger Federer could have opened up a six grand slam lead on Novak Djokovic.

But the world number one saved two match points to clinch a fifth Wimbledon title and 16th major on Sunday, shattering Federer’s bid to become the oldest Grand Slam champion in the longest final ever contested at the tournament.

Despite being outplayed by the 37-year-old Swiss for large parts of the knife-edge encounter, the top seed emerged victorious 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 13-12 (7/3). At four hours and 57 minutes, it was the longest Wimbledon final and settled by a final set tie-break for the first time.

Djokovic is the first man in 71 years to win the title from match points down. He is now just two behind Rafael Nadal and four off the all-time Slam record of 20 titles held by Federer.

He has time on his side, being a year younger than Nadal and more than five years younger than the legendary Swiss.

Djokovic insists he won’t get distracted by the pursuit of Federer’s record haul, fully aware that he has time on his side.

“Whether I’m going to be able to do it or not, I don’t know. I’m not really looking at age as a restriction of any kind for me at least. What I said on the court, I really meant it: Roger really inspires me with his effort at his age,” Djokovic said.

“It just depends how long I’m going to play, whether I’m going to have a chance to make historic No. 1 or Slams.”

When asked if he sees himself still playing at 37, Djokovic said the motivation to be treated with the same respect as Federer is strong. “Hopefully in five years’ time I can be hearing the same chants,” he said.

Djokovic is by far the most consistent of the Big Three at recent Slams. Since the start of 2015, he has won nine of the 19 majors played with Nadal winning four and Federer, three.

The other three have been split between Stan Wawrinka (two) and Andy Murray (one).

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

Heading straight for the top. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)Source:AP

Age: 32 Ranking: 1

Career prize money: $194 million (AUD)

Grand slam titles: 16 (Australian Open 2008, 2011-2013, 2015-16, 2019; French Open 2016; Wimbledon 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018-19; US Open 2011, 2015, 2018)

Grand slam win-loss record: 277-42

Career titles: 75 Career-win-loss record: 871-182

2019 titles: 3 2019 win-loss record: 35-6

ROGER FEDERER

What have I done? (Joe Toth, AELTC Pool Photo via AP)Source:AP

Age: 37 Ranking: 3

Career prize money: $180 million

Grand slam titles: 20 (Australian Open 2004, 2006-07, 2010, 2017-18; French Open 2009; Wimbledon 2003-07, 2009, 2012, 2017; US Open 2004-08)

Grand slam win-loss record: 347-56

Career titles: 102 Career-win-loss record: 1222-265

2019 titles: 3 2019 win-loss record: 38-5

RAFAEL NADAL

Don’t count me out. (Andy Couldridge/Pool Photo via AP)Source:AP

Age: 33 Ranking: 2

Career prize money: $157 million

Grand slam titles: 20 (Australian Open 2009; French Open 2005-08, 2010-14, 2017-19; Wimbledon 2008, 2010; US Open 2010, 2013, 2017)

Grand slam win-loss record: 265-38

Career titles: 82 Career-win-loss record: 956-196

2019 titles: 2 2019 win-loss record: 37-6

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