WIMBLEDON, UK — Novak Djokovic was patient, waiting for Nick Kyrgios to lose focus, waiting to settle against his rival’s powerful serve and waiting for his game to shine when it mattered.
The Serbian and favorite beat Kyrgios 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the Wimbledon final on Sunday.
With this, Djokovic won his seventh title at the All England Club and his 21st major title. Only Rafael Nadal has won 22 Grand Slam men’s singles titles in his career.
“Every win is even better and more meaningful,” Djokovic said. This match has always been very special to me. He was the one who encouraged me to play tennis in a small mountain center in Serbia.
Djokovic extended his winning streak at the All England Club to 28. With this, he moved past Roger Federer (20) for second in the history of men’s singles major titles. He will have a chance to move up to the No. 1 spot alongside Nadal at the US Open.
“I have not been vaccinated and do not plan to be vaccinated,” Djokovic said.
For his part, Kyrgios made his first career final appearance at a major tournament. He was trying to become the first man since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001 to win at Wimbledon without being a seed. Ivanisevic is now Djokovic’s coach.
“Different. I feel he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary today, but he was very calm,” Kyrgios said. In important moments, he never seemed to waver, which I believe is his biggest strength. He is in control at all times.
World number 40 Kyrgios took advantage of Djokovic’s double fault to break his rival’s serve to take a 3-2 lead in the first set. He converted his second set point with an ace.
Djokovic took the second set and leveled. He saved four break points in the last game of the set.
In the third set, Kyrgios double-faulted at 4-4 to give Djokovic a break point. He sent a backhand into the net before seeing the Serbian win the set quickly.
“It changed the momentum a lot, underlining the Serbian. Until then, we were very even.
Kyrgios kept his composure for the fourth round. Trailing 1-6 in the tiebreaker, Kyrgios extended the debate with a game winner and 30th ace. However, Djokovic converted his third championship ball.
The encounter ended after more than three hours as Kyrgios hit a ball into the net. Djokovic returned to his box and threw up his hands.
After hugging Kyrgios at the net, he ate a few blades of grass.
Kyrgios won the two previous fights between the two players each time in 2017.
Despite his talent, he has not reached the quarter-finals of his last 29 Grand Slam tournaments.
In the last two weeks, Kyrgios has racked up $14,000 in fines. He was particularly penalized for spitting in the direction of a spectator during the first round and for using highly colorful language in his third round win over Stephanos Tsitsipas. Before or after he wore a red hat and shoes, he was criticized when the dress code required white.
On Sunday, Kyrgios tried everything – shots between his legs, on his back at the net, and served over 218 km/h, as well as an underhand serve. Djokovic finally found an answer to Kyrgios’ entire arsenal.
“He’s a bit of a god,” Kyrgios said of Djokovic during the ceremony. “I think I played well. I don’t even know how many times you’ve won this championship!
It was Djokovic’s fourth win at Wimbledon. The tournament was canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2022 edition of the prestigious grass-court tournament has been mired in some controversy. No points were awarded for the world rankings in reaction to the organizers’ decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes. The decision was taken in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
World number one Daniil Medvedev of Russia is one of those absent.
However, a Russian woman who has represented Kazakhstan for four years won the women’s category on Saturday when Elina Rybakina won.
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