The Serbian press on Monday proclaimed Novak Djokovic “king of tennis” with the “heart of a hero” after he claimed his fifth Wimbledon title beating eight-time champion Roger Federer.
The 32-year-old Serbian saved two match points as he took his Grand Slam tally to 16, four off Federer’s overall record in the longest final in the tournament’s history on Sunday.
“Novak, King of Tennis,” read the Blic daily paper frontpage headline.
“The fifth Crown for the King,” echoed the Vecernje Novosti paper.
“He certainly did not play his best tennis but he knew how to handle the key moments due to his main weapon, his mental strength,” Blic commented.
Djokovic, contrary to his habits, “did not show any emotion during the whole match” which lasted 4 hours and 57 minutes, it said.
The Danas daily paper said the match offered the public “all that can be seen in a perfect tennis match... suspense, drama and a happy ending ... for Djokovic”.
Newspapers stressed that the world No 1 who is now level on five Wimbledon titles with Bjorn Borg is the first man in 70 years to win the title after recovering from two match points down.
“One has to be honest and note that Federer played impeccably. Most of the time he was the better player on the court. Two missed match points are unbelievable. But, here, he missed them,” the paper said.
For the Informer tabloid Djokovic won “against Federer and the public” cheering for the Swiss. The Politika daily paper said that “all was against Djokovic” during Sunday’s match.
An opponent with the “record number of Wimbledon trophies, two match points, the entire public backing his rival, the statistics practically all favourable to the Swiss and (Djokovic) lacking his best shots most of the time,” it said.
“It is with the heart of a hero that Djokovic won this final, one of the most dramatic,” in the tournament’s history, Politika concluded.
Despite being outplayed by the 37-year-old Swiss for large parts of the knife-edge encounter, Djokovic triumphed 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 13-12 (7/3).