Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Djokovic dedicates win to family

Roger Federer is aiming for an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon crown

Novak Djokovic dedicated his Wimbledon triumph to his "future wife" and their unborn baby after a thrilling final that was watched by a star-studded crowd.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, David and Victoria Beckham, and Hollywood stars including Samuel L Jackson and Bradley Cooper looked on as Djokovic beat Roger Federer in five sets on Centre Court.

Serbian Djokovic fell to his knees when he realised he had won his second Wimbledon title, and repeated his bizarre 2011 celebration of eating a piece of grass. He was in tears after he was presented with his trophy.

The 2014 Wimbledon champion, who was filmed chatting with Kate and William after his victory, told Centre Court: "I want to dedicate this win to a few people, first of all to my future wife and our future baby. I am going to become a father soon and I am still preparing for that."

Jelena Ristic, Djokovic's partner, tweeted: "Journey is more important than the destination and this was hell of a journey my love!!!!"

Federer, 32, who was going for his eighth Wimbledon title, said after the five-set match that he had "felt the love" of the Centre Court crowd.

"It was a great final. I can't believe I made it to five (sets). It wasn't looking good there for a while.

"Going into a match with Novak is always going to be tough," he said.

When asked about the support of his four-year-old twin daughters who watched from the players' box, he added: "I don't know if they quite understand but it's nice that they came out.

"I felt the love out here again. I enjoyed myself a lot. See you next year."

At the end of the match, Federer's wife Mirka sat the two girls on the front of the players' box, and their father waved to them as he went to collect his runners-up trophy.

The Swiss star also congratulated Djokovic. "I can only say congratulations to him. It was an amazing match and an amazing tournament," he said.

Djokovic described the grass he ate as "the best meal that I ever had" because of how significant his victory was.

He joked: "I had a nice bite. I thought there was less grass today than it was a few years ago, so I had a little bit of soil as well."

Kate and William appeared to be supporting Federer during the match, as they seemed to celebrate more after the Swiss ace won points. The Duchess was even seen putting her head on her knees when Djokovic had a Championship point in the fourth set.

Federer revealed in his press conference that he had a "difficult" meeting with the royal couple after the match. He said: "I wasn't in a great state. I was unbelievably sad at that moment just when I left the court, so it was a difficult moment for I think the three of us.

"But they were very sweet to comfort me and wish me well, that they enjoyed the match and all these things. We met previously, so that helped I think. Clearly it makes me very happy to see them being supportive of my game and supportive of tennis.

"Overall, it's really nice seeing them there at a Wimbledon finals. Also at the quarters I think they were there as well. I think it's wonderful."

It was a family affair for Kate, as her sister Pippa Middleton, Pippa's boyfriend Nico Jackson and parents Carole and Michael Middleton were also on Centre Court - but they were sitting in seats above the players' box rather than in the Royal Box.

The Duchess was wearing a green and blue printed Jonathan Saunders dress, which she had also worn during a trip with William to the Solomon Islands in 2012.

Adding to the star power on Centre Court were Hollywood giants Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Orlando Bloom and Kate Winslet. Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Cliff Richard, Guy Ritchie and snooker player Ken Doherty also took in the tournament's finale, alongside pop star Olly Murs.

But Andy Murray's mother Judy left the grounds less than an hour before the match, and when asked if she would be watching, she said: "No, I'm going shopping."

Ms Murray, rumoured to be starring in the next series of Strictly Come Dancing, just laughed when she was asked how her dance training is coming along.

It was second time around for many of the famous faces today, with Kate and William having watched Murray crash out of the Grand Slam on Wednesday.

Beckham was in the Royal Box with his mother Sandra to take in the action last Saturday.

Today, the Beckhams - dubbed Posh and Becks - arrived in a black Range Rover, with the football superstar in the driving seat and smiling as he got out of the vehicle.

Victoria was wearing a dark coloured dress with orange and white panels across the front.

Between games, a camera captured footage of the former Spice Girl affectionately putting her hand on her husband's leg.

Victoria was also sitting next to Samuel L Jackson, but the pair did not appear to interact much until towards the end of the match.

Jackman was enjoying his second day out at Wimbledon this summer too. He said: "I feel very lucky. This is probably in my top five sporting events in the world."

Hangover heartthrob Cooper was joined by his girlfriend Suki Waterhouse and her father Norman, who is a plastic surgeon.

Cooper and model Waterhouse sat next to each other in the Royal Box on Friday. At last year's final, Cooper sat next to actor and fellow pin-up Gerard Butler and they were photographed taking a selfie.

Thor actor Chris Hemsworth was also on the Royal Box guest-list today.

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