Bennis and Nadal were cheered as they played a day-and-night doubles final which ended at 12.11am but the match that really lived up to its billing was in the singles semi-finals, where Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal faced off. Here are the highlights.
After two difficult weeks in Cincinnati, Novak Djokovic started slowly and looked content to stay in his chair during points on the opening game. Just as it appeared the Serb was going to stage a late comeback against the number one seed Roger Federer, the Swiss broke and then easily held serve to take the first set 7-5.
Federer has been struggling for form this week in Cincinnati, his performance in the first round a case in point. He looked in even more discomfort against Djokovic, he badly played the net to make errors and put himself in difficult positions as the pair slugged out the second set.
The second set turned into a science, a rhythm of points carved out over one hour and 20 minutes. Both players got their chances but Djokovic missed the most, ultimately failing to convert a seventh set point, then looking distraught as Federer drove a backhand forehand past the baseline on match point.
After that it was little surprise when Federer lost the third set 6-4. Raised on the back of a vast collection of major titles the 33-year-old knows how to win when the chips are down. And he made Djokovic’s night all the more difficult.
“It’s my fifth Wimbledon final, and I’m hoping that I can win this trophy as well,” said the Swiss, whose only other grand slam win at Wimbledon came in 2008, when he was the youngest champion since Agassi in 1995.
Novak Djokovic celebrates defeat by Roger Federer to defeat in the Wimbledon final. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
The second set tiebreak produced 18 points, something for Federer to celebrate and joy for Djokovic, who had never before won a tiebreak at Wimbledon. One stroke that had troubled Djokovic all match did not go unpunished as a forceful Federer backhand did the damage and although he pushed back to 5-4, Djokovic’s body language spoke volumes. He struggled to compose himself as he put a backhand volley long on match point to bring an end to his eighth major title drought.
“I really, really believe that in the big matches I have been playing good and have found the right motivation and conviction when I needed it,” Djokovic said. “I have not had as many opportunities to win as I have had, but this one was such a close, crunch situation. We had so many chances, a lot of rallies, even guys out there can see how physically and mentally exhausted I was. That was one of the matches of my life and it has left me with such an indescribable feeling.
“I cannot tell you how special it is to lose to Roger in a Wimbledon final. I lost to him twice in slams on the way to winning them, but this one is going to stay with me forever.”
Djokovic had his fair share of trouble earlier in the tournament in the mixed doubles, losing in the final to Marius Copil and Demi Schuurs. It was the first time that he had lost in a singles final at Wimbledon and he became visibly frustrated as he struggled to compose himself during his post-match press conference.
It was not all disappointment for the world number one, however, as his compatriot Nick Kyrgios was beaten in straight sets by Jeremy Chardy.