Roger Federer survived a ferocious onslaught from Rafael Nadal to win his fifth consecutive Wimbledon singles title on Sunday, finally taming the inspired Spaniard 7-6 4-6 7-6 2-6 6-2.
The Swiss looked about to crack under the strain but found some magic at the crucial moments to equal the record of Sweden's Bjorn Borg who watched a raging battle between the world's top two players from the royal box.
Nadal stormed through the fourth set despite treatment on a knee injury to extend Federer to five sets for the first time in his 13 grand slam finals.
The decisive moment came in the sixth game of the decider when Federer broke serve with a sublime forehand winner after a rally of extraordinary quality.
The best Wimbledon final for several years ended two games later when Federer smashed a ball into the empty court before collapsing emotionally to the turf.