Novak Djokovic has caused a stir after his Wimbledon triumph by changing his customary celebration.
Djokovic is savouring the greatest grand slam Houdini act of his celebrated career after fighting off two match points to capture a fifth Wimbledon singles crown with a titanic, nerve-shredding five-set triumph over Roger Federer.
In a captivating, history-making four-hour, 57-minute final of wildly fluctuating fortunes, Djokovic denied Federer 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 12-12 (7-3) to retain the title he won last year and add to the trophies he also landed at the All England Club in 2011, 2014 and 2015.
The epic encounter was the longest title decider in the championships' 152-year history, surpassing Rafael Nadal's similarly dramatic four-hour, 46-minute win over Federer in 2008.
The largely pro-Federer crowd roared with delight after the Swiss Maestro won points, but fell silent when Djokovic did so.
After match point, Djokovic parted ways with his usual celebration, simply crouching down and plucking a chunk of Wimbledon grass and popping it into his mouth.
He then nodded to himself with a satisfied look on his face before roaring in triumph.
Fans and pundits had very differing reactions to the celebration.
Some found his actions ‘arrogant’, while others thought it was a message to the crowd after five hours of being cheered against.
Pure arrogance, sadly.— Raul Alvarez (@chiefsynergist) July 14, 2019
Should’ve sprinted round the court topless in celebration after having to deal with that crowd for nearly 5 hours.— LG (@LG094) July 14, 2019
So much arrogance!! I don't believe it— shadypinkman (@Madyjoshi) July 14, 2019
Im not a hater, I loved this match but a winning reaction like this triggers agression in me, I rather see a happy person than someone making a show— Michael🇩🇪 (@Lakitu886) July 14, 2019
Wimbledon crowd, no problem if you have your favourites, but the way you engaged Novak during the match spoiled some of the joy I had watching this great match!— John Huizing (@john_huizing) July 14, 2019
I wanted Federer to win, but at least Novak shut up that crowd, this guy deserves as mush respect as Federer and nadal— Hanif Ali (@1996Hanif) July 14, 2019
classless— Langda Tyagi (@NkNk086) July 14, 2019
This celebration is an all-timer. After so many years of trying to win them over, Djokovic spends five hours being cheered again and then gives the crowd this. Awesome.#Wimbledon https://t.co/usKXYV7pwk— Fraser Caldwell (@fraser_caldwell) July 14, 2019
Djokovic not doing the celebration is the highlight of this whole tournament if not the whole year.🙌🏼— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) July 14, 2019
He finally realized the crowd doesn’t deserve it when they constantly root against him.👍🏼
Maybe the greatest Djokovic celebration, just standing there alone on that court. Like a « nobody can break me » moment. Just enjoying the moment. Very respectful of Federer’s distress.— Carole Bouchard (@carole_bouchard) July 14, 2019
Djokovic edges closer to Federer record
"Congratulations, man, that was crazy," Federer said after Djokovic became the first player to win a Wimbledon men's singles final after saving championship points since Bob Falkenburg in 1948.
"I'll try to forget," Federer added after dropping his serve from 40-15 up at 8-7 in the tension-filled final set.
Djokovic's 16th grand slam title vaulted the Serbian superstar to within four of Federer's record 20 and two behind Rafael Nadal's 18.
After winning four of the past five slams, few would back against the 32-year-old from reeling in Federer's benchmark haul as the battle for greatest of all time (GOAT) status intensifies.
For now, Djokovic is content enough after emulating the five-time Wimbledon feats of legendary Swede Bjorn Borg (1976-80) and Englishman Laurie Doherty (1902-1906) in the most extraordinary fashion.
"This was if not the most exciting and most thrilling final I was ever part of, then definitely top two or three against one of the greatest of all time," said the jubilant world No.1.
"He inspires me for sure. Unfortunately in these kind of matches one of the players have to lose.
"It's quite unreal to be down two match points and come back and win. It was a huge relief in the end, honestly.
It was probably the most mentally demanding match I was ever part of.
"I had the most physically demanding match against Nadal in the finals of Australia that went almost six hours, but mentally this was different level, because of everything.
"I'm just obviously thrilled and overjoyed with emotions to be sitting here in front of you as a winner. It was one shot away from losing the match.
"It could have gone easily his way."