Sealing victory in just under three hours, Djokovic soaked up the applauds before crouching down to perform his traditional celebration of eating the Wimbledon grass.

Borg and Laver were among the legends marvelling from the Royal Box on Sunday as Djokovic levelled his career series with Federer at 20 wins apiece in an another enthralling title showdown between the sport’s two premier players.

“We shared very joyful and positive happy moments in the locker room after the match where we hugged”, Djokovic said. “He deserved it”.

“That is a great achievement, now that you mention it”, Djokovic said, leaning back in his chair.

Djokovic turned pivotal points his way and capitalised on loose Federer serving to pocket a one-sided first set tiebreak 7-1. “She came out there to win; she wasn’t out there just to play a final”, Williams said.

He regrouped, staving off seven set points in the second and taking that tiebreaker. But seven times, Federer wouldn’t let him convert.

Djokovic showed why he is world No. 1 as he bounced back from his deflating loss to Stan Wawrinka in last month’s French Open final, a shattering slip-up that denied the Serb from completing a cherished career grand slam sweep.

Throughout the second set, it appeared as though Djokovic was rolling.

The key damage had been done, and Federer fell away in the face of Djokovic’s consistency in the thrid set, losing serve for a second time as his rival yelled with delight when putting away a victor on set point. With Djokovic up 3-2, the match had a 20-minute rain delay, but neither player was affected.

Though there were several instances where Djokovic would be pushed to the limit by Federer, the defending champion simply found a way to fend off the odds which in the end apparently paid off handsomely. He held serve in 89 of 90 games until the final, when Djokovic earned four breaks. “Very frustrated on the changeover because I know against Roger this might be my last chance in the match”.

“He was tougher on the bigger points and at the end he was rock solid”, said Federer. At least they have great day jobs. “That’s how it goes”.

“But that’s as good as it gets pretty much”. He’s a great champion. “He’s not going to hand you the match”.

Djokovic also improved to 9-8 all-time in Grand Slam finals and equaled the number of Wimbledon wins by his coach Boris Becker, who won his first 30 years ago and followed with titles in 1986 and ’89.

Djokovic’s best year since he turned professional in 2003 came in 2011 when he won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Federer expressed his obvious disappointment. He improved to 48-3 for the season.

The world number one beat the legendary Swiss master in the final at SW19 for the second successive year on Sunday.

The other members of tennis’s big four are all several years younger than him and their consistency was supposed to make it hard for Federer to ever add to his 17 Grand Slam titles.