Meanwhile Federer tried to put a courageous face on his defeat, which hurt all the more given that he missed two match points when serving and 8-7 up in the final set.
Federer has ruled grass courts since the early 2000s; he has won Wimbledon eight times dating to 2003, and this was his record 12th appearance in the title match. But Novak was great.
It must have been a painful set to lose for the Swiss but in double-quick time he was level at one-set all after an uncharacteristic mental lapse from his opponent. Federer and Djokovic will meet in the men's final at the All England Club for the third time.
I said at the start of the two weeks at the All England Club that it was hard to see past Djokovic winning the title and I'm sticking to that ahead of the 48 career clash between these two superstars.
To decide the victor, both players had to try and be the first to score seven points, with an advantage of two or more points.
CAN 2019 : Place aux demi-finales !
Trois buts inscrits dans ses temps forts ont permis à l'équipe de se rassurer et d'atteindre le carré d'As de la compétition. "De toutes les manières, en demi-finale, il n'y a pas de petites équipes ", a-t-il soutenu, selon Footsenegal.
The incorrect challenge handed the point to Nadal and he went on to hold the game to force Federer to serve for the match.
4-6, 13-12 (7/3) in a match settled by a historic tie-break. It lasted a remarkable 35 shots and ended with Federer getting the point.
Bollywood's leading lady Deepika Padukone has joined the long list of high profile celebrities attending today's Wimbledon championship between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
An emotional Federer looked over towards his wife and children in his box during the trophy presentation, perhaps an acknowledgement that less than four weeks from his 38th birthday his opportunities for more Grand Slams may be limited.
'I hope I give some other people a chance to believe that at 37 it's not over yet, ' he said.
BBC Sport tennis commentator Andrew Castle: "What a treat this has been".
EN DIRECT / LIVE. Sénégal - Tunisie - Coupe d'Afrique des Nations - 14 juillet 2019
Le onze de départ de la Tunisie: Hassen - Dräger, Bronn, Meriah, Haddadi - Sassi, Skhiri, Ben Mohamed - Khazri, Khenissi, Msakni. Le coup d'envoi sera donné juste après les hymnes des deux nations! Ce match se déroule le 14 juillet 2019 et débute à 18:00.
In doing so the World No 1, top seed and defending champ crushed 37-year-old crowd favourite Federer's fairytale dream.
He was probably hungry after the long match, which was just 3 minutes short of 5 hours.
Roger Federer in action against Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon. "I don't know if losing 2-2-2 feels better than this one".
"Definitely tough to have those chances", Federer said.
It wasn't until the fourth set that Federer faced so much as one break point, no small accomplishment against Djokovic, considered by many to be the greatest returner of his, or perhaps any, generation. Four-time champion Novak Djokovic is standing in the way. None of it slowed down the reigning Wimbledon champion.
The Serbian was beginning to look very frustrated but he forced another tie-break and again it was Federer who unexpectedly crumbled. There was nothing in that match in the end.
Hong Kong protesters take aim at Chinese traders
Major demonstrations in the past month against a proposal to change extradition laws have reawakened other movements in Hong Kong. Sheung Shui resident Ryan Lai, 50, said: 'Our lovely town has become chaos.