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WIMBLEDON, England – Novak Djokovic buried his recent Grand Slam failures by beating Roger Federer 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-4 to win his second Wimbledon title and seventh major overall on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Serb also will reclaim the No. 1 ranking he lost to Rafael Nadal last fall.

"I don't know how I managed to do it," said Djokovic of the nearly 4-hour match. "This is the tournament I always dreamed of winning."

Seventeen-time champion Federer, with the crowd at his back, pushed Djokovic to the brink. And Djokovic wobbled, failing to close out the match leading 5-2 in the fourth set by dropping five consecutive games and one match point that Federer saved with an ace.

But in the end, Djokovic would have none of it.

Playing the dogged brand of tennis that is his specialty, the top-seeded Serb punched back returns, protected his serve and lured No. 4 seed Federer into long rallies, most of which he won.

He eventually wore 32-year-old Federer down, breaking him early in the third set, buckling down in the third-set tiebreaker and then holding on to break Federer in the final game for a fourth time. Federer had been broken just once entering the final.

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"I can't believe I made it to five (sets)," said Federer, whose 4-year-old twin girls looked on from the players' box. "It wasn't looking good there for a while."

Djokovic had lost four of his last five Grand Slam finals and was one defeat away from joining Ivan Lendl, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray as the only men in the post-1968 Open era to lose four major finals in a row.

His last major victory had been almost 18 months ago at the 2013 Australian Open.

In 2011, Djokovic was nearly unbeatable. That season, he started the season 41-0, won three of the four Grand Slam events and went 70-6.

But he has carried the burden of that spectacular season, and though he has repeatedly gone deep at majors he has looked at times like a man wrestling with himself.

He hired three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker at the start of 2014 to help him exorcise those demons and get him over the hump.

With his seventh major crown, Djokovic equals John McEnroe and Mats Wilander for eighth place in the Open era.

Federer was bidding to become the oldest Wimbledon champion in the Open era and just the fifth to win two majors past the age of 30.

Familiar foes, Djokovic and Federer have met 35 times, which is tied for third-most in the Open era behind Djokovic-Nadal (42) and Ivan Lendl-John McEnroe (36).

They have met 12 times in majors – they are tied at 6-6 — but this was only their second meeting in a Grand Slam final, and second on grass.

Federer had won both, at the 2007 U.S. Open and the 2012 Wimbledon semifinals on his way to his 17th and most recent major.

Djokovic dedicated the win to his family, his team and to his fiancé, Jelena Ristic, who is pregnant with their child. But last and not least he said it was for his childhood coach and muse, Jelena Gencic, who passed away last year.

"This is for her," an emotional Djokovic said.

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