Novak Djokovic produced a recurring masterclass to claim a 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3) victory Nick Kyrgios in the final on Sunday Wimbledonwhere the top seed picked up his fourth consecutive crown at the grass-court major.
Djokovic rallied after losing the opener for the third straight match and claimed a seventh title to level Peter Sampras‘Brand in the All England Club. The 35-year-old Djokovic is now just one down Roger Federerrecord of eight Wimbledon Triumphs and a Grand Slam title back Rafael NadalRecord of 22 large crowns.
“I lost the words what this tournament, this trophy means to me, my team, my family,” said Djokovic at the trophy handover. “I’ve said that many times before. It was and always will be that special tournament in my heart that motivated and inspired me to start playing tennis in a small mountain town in Serbia where my parents used to run a restaurant.
“I was four or five years old and I saw Peter Sampras win his first Wimbledon in 1993. I asked my father and mother to buy me a racquet and my first image of tennis was grass and Wimbledon. I’ve always dreamed of coming here, just playing on this pitch and then fulfilling the childhood dream of winning this trophy. Each time it becomes more meaningful and special, so I am very blessed and very grateful to be standing here with the trophy.”
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After some scintillating Kyrgios shots led him to the opening set on center court, Djokovic found his rhythm on the return to prevail in an intriguing clash of playing styles. Despite his opponent firing 30 aces in a three-hour-and-a-minute encounter, the top seed clinically capitalized on his chances, most notably when he decisively broke Kyrgios’ serve after the Australian went 4-4 up 40/0 in the third set . A nerveless performance from Djokovic in the tiebreak of the fourth set, his first of the tournament, sealed the victory and extended his winning streak to 28 games at SW19.
Although his ability to counter Kyrgios’ massive serve was key to Djokovic’s win, the Serb was just as efficient with his own delivery. The top seed shot 15 aces and won 83 percent (62/75) of the points on his first serve, compared to Kyrgios’ 70 percent (64/91).
It’s another hard-fought triumph for Djokovic this week in London, where he overtook a two-set deficit to defeat it Jannik sinner in the quarterfinals and recovered from the first set drop until Cameron Norrie in the semifinals. The Serb also defeated Soonwoo Kwon, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Miomir Kecmanovic and Tim van Rijthoven this fortnight in London.
It was Djokovic’s first tour-level win in three tries against Kyrgios, who had never progressed past the quarter-finals at a Grand Slam prior to this fortnight in London. Despite frequent brilliant moments from one of the ATP Tour’s greatest showmen, Kyrgios couldn’t resist the relentless pressure of Djokovic’s high-quality groundstrokes.
“He’s a bit of a god, I won’t lie,” said Kyrgios when asked about Djokovic at the trophy presentation. “I thought I played well… It’s been a great couple of weeks for me personally.
“Myself, my team, I think we’re all exhausted, we’ve played so much tennis. After that, I really need a well-deserved vacation. I’m just really happy with this result, it’s probably the best of my career. Maybe one day I’ll be back here.”
Nick Kyrgios/Novak Djokovic” />
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Kyrgios will have to regret a high number of errors, especially at key moments, as he struggled to find consistency with his aggressive approach. The Aussie converted just one of six break point opportunities in the match and added 33 unforced errors to his opponent’s 17. However, Djokovic conceded that the quality the 27-year-old has shown at times suggests Kyrgios is more than capable of improving his maiden attendance at a Grand Slam final.
“Nick, you’re coming back,” Djokovic said when addressing the Australian. “Not only at Wimbledon, but in the final. I know it’s hard to find words of comfort after a tough loss like this, but you showed why you deserve to be one of the best players in the world, especially on this ground. I congratulate you and your team on a great tournament and wish you all the best.”
27-year-old Kyrgios often displayed his signature diversity in the early stages on center court. He landed a 125-mile second serve ace and used an underarm serve on his service game before hitting a stunning forehand down-the-line winner in game three.
Kyrgios quickly settled behind his huge serve in warm London temperatures. He fell just five points short of his opening set performance and a lone break in game five was enough for him to progress when Djokovic struggled to make an impact early in his eighth set Wimbledon Final.
Nick Kyrgios” />
Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Djokovic, widely regarded as one of the greatest returns of all time, hadn’t been able to break Kyrgios’ serve in any of the pair’s previous games. However, the Serb broke that duck in style early in the second set, breaking to 3-1 as he typically remained resilient despite the early Kyrgios barrage.
That was enough for the top seed to level the match, although Djokovic had to fend off four break points to serve for the set in game 10.
Djokovic remained zoned on the return in the third set. The Serb debuted Kyrgios in four of the Australian’s service games when he cleaned the ball, particularly on his backhand wing. Despite being forced to be patient as Kyrgios found big deliveries at key moments, Djokovic bounced back from 40/0 in game nine to earn a crucial break as his masterful return frequently pressured the Aussie on center court.
As the chatter from a frustrated Kyrgios mounted in his player’s box, Djokovic calmly wrapped the set behind a precise serve to move within a set of his 21st Grand Slam title.
Kyrgios regained his dominance behind serve in the fourth set but failed to make any progress in his own return games as the top seed’s serene serving performance continued. As the set reached its climax, Kyrgios conceded a mini-break with a double fault on the first point of the tiebreak after playing with a full-blooded second serve. So used to handling big moments of pressure in Grand Slam finals, Djokovic used that momentum to create an unassailable 6/1 lead en route to defending his title in south-west London.