Game Game

Djokovic tips off his hat to coach Becker

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 Serbia's Novak Djokovic kisses the winner's trophy after beating Switzerland's Roger Federer in the men's singles final match at Wimbledon on July 12, 2015 . PHOTO/AFP

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic kisses the winner’s trophy after beating Switzerland’s Roger Federer in the men’s singles final match at Wimbledon on July 12, 2015 . PHOTO/AFP

LONDON, July 12- Novak Djokovic dedicated his successful Wimbledon title defence to Boris Becker after matching his German coach’s haul of three victories at the All England Club.

Djokovic defeated Roger Federer 7-6 (7/1), 6-7 (10/12), 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday to win his ninth Grand Slam and his third at Wimbledon in five years.

In a fitting piece of symmetry, the world number one’s latest triumph came 30 years after Becker won the first of his Wimbledon titles.

And the 28-year-old was quick to salute Becker’s contribution to his achievements since hiring the six-time major winner in December 2013.

“It’s definitely been a long run since we started working together,” Djokovic said.

“It took a while to understand each other. He is German, I’m Serbian, so there are a significant differences!

“We managed to find a common ground and the right chemistry. This is his trophy as much as mine.”

With three major titles since joining forces with Becker, the German’s impact can’t be denied, but Djokovic joked that his coach no longer had the bragging rights since they now have the same number of Wimbledon wins.

“No, he doesn’t,” Djokovic smiled. “I have to say thank you to him, my wife and all my team.

“We’ll have a glass of beer or a glass of wine tonight.”

Just 12 months after defeating Federer in five sets in the final, Djokovic was able to see off the seven-time winner in more emphatic fashion this time.

He never allowed Federer to display the majestic style that demolished Andy Murray in the semi-finals, but he was quick to praise the 17-time major winner for forcing him to raise his game.

– Biggest challenge –

“It is one of he biggest challenges I could ever have playing him on the grass here on Centre Court at Wimbledon,” Djokovic said.

“I was aware coming on the court that Roger was going to play at his best when it matters the most.

“He makes you push to your limit, work hard and earn every single point. That was my approach coming into the match. It added a bit more pressure.

“But you work all your life for these matches. You wake up every day working repetitively at time and you envision yourself playing in these matches.”

As is his custom, Djokovic celebrated by kneeling on the Centre Court turf and eating a piece of grass.

“It tasted very, very good this year. I don’t know what the grounds people have done but they have done a great job,” he said.

“It is a little tradition. As a kid I was dreaming of winning Wimbledon,

“You dream of doing something crazy if you win and that was one of the things.”

Federer, 33, was in gracious mood despite seeing his hopes of a record eighth Wimbledon title shattered by the ruthless Serb.

“I think Novak played great, not only today but the whole two weeks, the whole year and the year before that,” Federer said.

“That’s sport. Of course I had my chances in the first set being up a break.

“That’s how it goes, he was tougher on the bigger points and at the end he was rock solid. I didn’t play bad myself so I can be happy.”

In the twilight of his brilliant career, Federer hasn’t claimed a major since 2012, but he insists his final pain will only increase his desire to win at least one more.

“I’m still very hungry and motivated to keep playing and a match like this is very helpful,” he said.

“It’s been an absolute priviledge and honour to be back on Centre in a match like this.

“Of course I would like to have won but Novak played really well.”

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