Novak Djokovic admitted doubting himself before securing his second Wimbledon title by beating Roger Federer on Sunday.
The 27-year-old secured his sixth grand slam title in a tense five-set battle with Federer, prevailing 6-7 (7/9) 6-4 7-6 (7/4) 5-7 6-4.
The Serbian denied Federer a record eighth Wimbledon crown, but conceded he feared the match might slip away after failing to convert a match point in the fourth set.
“Congratulations to Roger, he proved what a great champion he is once again here this year,” said Djokovic.
“I respect your career and everything you’ve done Roger – thank you for letting me win today!
“After dropping a fourth set it wasn’t easy to regroup. I tried to compose myself and find the necessary energy to win the fifth. I don’t know how I managed to do it.
“This is the tournament I always dreamed of winning. This is the best tournament in the world, the most valuable one.”
After thanking his family and his camp, Djokovic added: “Last but not least, I would like to dedicate this title to my first coach who taught me all the basics of tennis shots and behaviour and everything I know about tennis – Jelena Gencic – and she passed away last year, and this is for her.”
Djokovic knelt to the turf to eat some of the famous All England Club grass to greet his victory – just as in 2011.
The Belgrade native lost out in last summer’s final to Andy Murray, and admitted it was a thrill to win again.
“The last time I won here was part of a fantastic year, and it’s just amazing for it to happen again,” he said.
A clearly-deflated Federer remained as gracious as ever in defeat despite failing to claim his 18th grand slam title.
The 32-year-old did however concede he was pleased with his run to the final, especially after his wretched 2013 that was dogged by back injuries.
“He’s a great opponent and I would just like to congratulate Novak on his title,” said Federer.
“You know going into a match against Novak it’s going to be tough, I can only say congratulations.
“I’m certainly delighted to have been able to be back here again in this final.”
Source: London Evening Standard