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Duchess presents Novak Djokovic with trophy after marathon Wimbledon battle

Clocking in at four hours and fifty-seven minutes, the Serbian won the longest ever men’s singles final at SW19 and his fifth Wimbledon title.

Novak Djokovic is presented the winner’s trophy by the Duchess of Cambridge (Mike Egerton/PA)
Novak Djokovic is presented the winner’s trophy by the Duchess of Cambridge (Mike Egerton/PA)

The Duchess of Cambridge presented a Wimbledon trophy for the first time as Novak Djokovic was again crowned king of Centre Court.

Kate, patron of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), stepped on to the hallowed turf to hand over the silver gilt cup to the men’s singles champion on Sunday.

Dressed in a powder blue 1950s-style dress, she sat on the front row of the royal box with husband William, as Djokovic secured a drama-filled five set victory over Roger Federer.

Clocking in at four hours and fifty-seven minutes, the Serbian won the longest ever men’s singles final at SW19 and his fifth Wimbledon title.

The Centre Court crowd applauded Djokovic as he knelt to the ground after his win and ate some grass – his celebratory tradition.

Novak Djokovic after beating Roger Federer (Victoria Jones/PA)

Federer said his performance was for “all the 37 year olds”.

“I hope that it gives some other people hope that at 37 it’s not over yet,” he said.

He joked that his four children – who were seated in the crowd – would not be that impressed with the runner up plate, adding “they would rather have that golden thing”.

Roger Federer during the men’s singles final (Victoria Jones/PA)

Speaking to Djokovic, he said: “Novak, congratulations man. That was crazy.”

He said he was now going “back to being dad”.

Djokovic said: “Roger says he wants people to believe they can still do it when they’re 37 and I’m one of them. He inspires me.”

He said he was also going “back to being dad” following the match.

His four-year-old son Stefan was seated in the player’s box with Djokovic’s parents.

Speaking to reporters after the match, Djokovic explained how he handled playing in front of a crowd largely cheering on Federer.

“At times you just try to ignore it, which is quite hard, I like to transmutate it in a way,” he said.

“So when the crowd is chanting Roger, I hear Novak.”

He joked the names sounded “similar”.

Asked how the court grass tasted, Djokovic said: “Better than ever, it tasted amazing, I’m still digesting it.”

The duchess has graced the tournament three times this year, meeting players, staff, suppliers and watching a range of matches.

Overall, the championships has enjoyed a wealth of royal attention in 2019, with the Duchess of Sussex also making two trips to watch her close friend Serena Williams in action.

Meghan and Kate sat side by side in the royal box on Saturday, as Williams crashed to a rapid defeat against Simona Halep in the women’s singles final.

The Middletons enjoying the action (Mike Egerton/PA)

Sunday’s match was a family affair for Kate, with her sister Pippa Matthews, brother James Middleton and mother Carole all joining the crowds in SW19.

The duchess appeared to receive a small gift from former American tennis player Stan Smith, who was pictured handing her a signed baby-sized trainer in the royal box.

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch and his wife Sophie Hunter were among the famous faces invited to seat near the royals.

They chatted away to Avengers actor Tom Hiddleston and Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins who were both sat in their row.

Recently divorced multi-billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also received a coveted invite and made a high profile appearance with his new girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Brooklyn Beckham, son of David and Victoria Beckham, and his girlfriend Hana Cross, were seen tucking into snacks in the Centre Court crowd.

Hana Cross and Brooklyn Beckham (Mike Egerton/PA)

The game was watched on a big screen by a packed out Henman Hill – with the crowd largely on the side of “King Roger”.

Fans cheered for every point the Swiss great won and let out groans when some of his shots were called out.

Security staff operated a one out one in policy to prevent the sloped area outside No 1 Court becoming too overcrowded.

Spectators also filled out the seats in No 2 Court where the match was played on large screens.

Foteini Aravani, 42, said: “I’m supporting Federer 1000% – it’s just a joy to watch him playing.”

Ms Aravani, who is originally from Greece but lives in London, said: “It’s like he’s giving a masterclass. It’s as if he’s teaching.”

Jen Kavanagh, 36, was also on the side of team Federer.

“He’s a classic of our times. He’s classic and he’s classy,” she said.

Some fans braved the morning rain to queue up outside the grounds and secure a chance to see their Swiss hero in action.

Shervin Abdolhamidi, 24, from New York, was hoping to get a resale ticket for Centre Court, despite admitting his chances were “50/50”.

“I can watch it from my phone, it will be worth it even just to get in to see him win,” he said.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet ballboys and ballgirls ((Victoria Jones/PA)

Earlier in the day, Federer briefly upstaged the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Wimbledon.

William and Kate were in the middle of meeting ball boys and girls and officials, when the tennis star suddenly passed by and was greeted by loud cheers from fans.

Federer is no stranger to royal company, confirming earlier in the tournament he had recently played a bit of tennis with Kate’s son Prince George.



From Belfast Telegraph