Novak Djokovic has made one of the feats of his career to beat Australian Nick Kyrgios to claim a seventh Wimbledon title in men’s singles and 21st slam title overall.
Most important points:
- Djokovic claimed his 21st grand slam title with the win
- Kyrgios described Djokovic as a “little god” after the match
- There were only three service breaks in the four sets
The Serbian champion holds the second-most major titles in the men’s world, behind Rafael Nadal’s 22, after coming off a set-down to defeat Kyrgios 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3 ) in a high quality Wimbledon final with plenty of brilliance and tension.
Djokovic – who has won the last four All England Club finals – said the grass court major “has always been and will remain the most special tournament in my heart”.
“I was four and a half, five years old and I saw Pete Sampras win his first Wimbledon. I asked my mother and father to buy me a racket. And my first image of tennis was grass and Wimbledon,” he said. †
“I’ve always dreamed of coming here and just playing this course. And then of course realizing the childhood dream and winning this trophy. Every time it becomes more and more meaningful and special. So I’m very blessed and very grateful for standing here with the trophy.”
Kyrgios looked stunned as he claimed his trophy and got an interview on the job.
After a spirited run to his first major final, Kyrgios said he hoped to return to this podium but wasn’t sure if he would or could. Djokovic, on the other hand, does.
“Nick, you’ll be back, not just to Wimbledon, but in [other] final,” he said.
“I wish you all the best. I really have a lot of respect for you. I think you are a phenomenal tennis player and athlete. You have heard that for many years, but now everything is starting to come together for you and we will see more in the later stages of grand slams.”
Warm start from Kyrgios
Kyrgios’ play may have coincided with this tournament as he first moved past the quarter-finals of a slam, but Djokovic’s relentless high level was something to behold in the decider.
It was all the more impressive as he had to endure an early attack from Kyrgios.
Djokovic served a wild double foul on the opening point of the match and that set the tone for the first set.
The start of the match was all Kyrgios, as the 27-year-old Canberran showed zero nerves in the opening phase and Djokovic showed his full repertoire of shots.
Kyrgios hit a second serve ace in the opening game and an underarm serve in the second, later there was a tweener attempt for a pass that almost worked, but Djokovic made the low volley.
Kyrgios held onto the lead, however, and he broke Djokovic for a 3-2 lead in the fifth game when the Serb made another double foul, with an energetic Kyrgios jogging to his seat.
The Australian tore through the rest of the set, losing just five points on his serve, raining down seven aces and 14 winners, with the faint smell of disturbance in the air.
But Djokovic had been in this position before, having lost the opening set in last year’s final to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.
Second set turning point
Despite the deficit, he remained calm and after some lengthy rallies to take a 2-1 lead in the second set, Djokovic was boxed in.
That grab was a huge turning point and changed the momentum of the match.
In the next match, for the first time in their career, he finally broke the Kyrgios service, to love.
Kyrgios’ energy also changed when he started a match-long conversation with his box.
The Australian had his chances, including establishing a 0-40 lead when Djokovic served for the set, which may have been the point of the match when Kyrgios came out of the clouds to drop volley for a winner.
Unfortunately for the Australian, he then failed to return a couple of big serves and was then taken cold by a Djokovic drop shot at a different set point.
Then, when Djokovic took second and evened the match, Kyrgios screamed “0-40” with full blast.
His frustration was evident and it would continue.
Kyrgios at one point wondered if he should hit a “130 mile second serve to win a point” against the man who is arguably the greatest returnee in the history of the sport.
‘She’s had 700 drinks bro’
Then the drama flared up.
As Kyrgios tried desperately to hold the serve, he received a code-breaking warning for an audible obscenity after a noise was made between his serves. At the change of ends, Kyrgios demanded that the chair umpire kick out an unruly spectator.
“It distracts me when I serve in a Wimbledon final,” Kyrgios told the chair umpire.
“There is no other greater opportunity. You didn’t believe me, she did it again and it almost cost me the game.
“Do something about it.”
When the umpire asked who it was, Kyrgios said it was “the one who looks like she had 700 drinks, bro”.
Fighting against himself, his box, the chair and Djokovic, he finally burst as Djokovic roared from 40-0 down to break Kyrgios for a 5-4 lead in the third when Kyrgios made an unforced foul with the backhand.
That mistake would be repeated in the next game when Djokovic took a two sets-to-one lead.
However, it was not that Kyrgios gave up, Djokovic simply played at an unparalleled level.
As the fourth and final set got underway, Kyrgios tried to rally again, but for the entire match he could barely glance at Djokovic’s serve in a match where the total breakpoints were 10 – four for Djokovic, six for Kyrgios .
Kyrgios could have forced a fifth set in the tiebreak but a double foul to kick off set the tone and a few errors later it was all over as Djokovic lifted the trophy for the seventh time and slid in one slam from Nadal .
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