Wimbledon (UK) – With his ultra-precision game, experience and thirst for records, Novak Djokovic will have to put out the sulfur flame Nick Kyrgios, on Sunday in the Wimbledon final, to win his seventh title in London. The fourth lawn in a row.
The Serbian has only Wimbledon this year to stay on the heels of Rafael Nadal in the hunt for Grand Slam titles. He was unable to defend his Australian Open title, then was beaten in June at Roland Garros and risks not being able to go to the United States for the last tournament of the year, for being against the coronavirus vaccination.
After two successes in 2022, in Melbourne and Paris, Nadal now has 22 majors, thus two steps ahead of the 35-year-old Serbian.
“I am very aware of what is at stake. In every match, in every Grand Slam that I play at this point in my career, the stakes are high. I don’t know how many more chances I will have. Win a Grand Slam. So I have to come close to This match is on Sunday with a positive attitude and confidence, with a will to win,” World No. 3 details.
In the final, his eighth goal for a seventh All England Lawn Tennis Club title, it wasn’t Nadal that Djokovic would find for the long-awaited 60th duel, but Kyrgios, who capitalized on Mallorca’s injury package ahead of the semi-finals. finals.
At the age of 27, when he no longer dared to believe it, he was finally able to direct his nerve to allow his brilliant tennis to speak and reach the final of a Grand Slam for the first time, the one who has never crossed the quarters at a Grand Slam.
– ‘Dealing with blows’ –
“In a major tournament you have to ride the wave, take advantage of the hits… I beat Paul Gibb (219 in the world, editor’s note) 7-5 in the fifth in the first round and now I’m in the Wimbledon final,” he babbles.
Between the two matches, he created third-round chaos to completely destabilize Stefanos Tsitsipas, before settling in the next two rounds and taking advantage of Nadal’s semi-final withdrawal.
But he was able to see that the imposed day of rest was not necessarily a good thing, especially for those discovering these final stages of specialization.
Breaking out of the routine that begins with a match every day, “For the body, it’s a shock (…) in a Grand Slam, you need to play these matches to get the adrenaline. But I have to play a final without having the half-experience,” explains the Australian.
Perhaps the most complicated thing for him is managing event stress.
Kyrgios has already admitted that he only slept for an hour at night from Thursday to Friday, after learning that he had qualified for the final.
“I was already very nervous, when I usually am not …” he admits.
– ‘Main meetings’ –
However, Djokovic recalls that Kyrgios is “a player with great appointments”.
And the Serbian insists, “His best tennis, he always fired in front of the best players. That’s why we all respect him, and we know what he’s capable of.”
Until then, Kyrgios had never managed to impose his game until the end of a major tournament due to his psychological cracks and erratic behavior on the court.
So much so that it is controversial even among its illustrious predecessors.
“I don’t get any support from any other former Australian champion. It’s weird, they have an unhealthy obsession with wanting to be under me,” Kyrgios laments.
But Djokovic sees a new “maturity” in the terrible tennis kid, which makes him all the more dangerous as he relies on a devastating serve.
And Djokovic predicts: “In the end, you will be played in the head, who will remain the strongest and calmest in the decisive moments.”
In this game, with 20 Grand Slam titles including six at Wimbledon, where he won his last 27 matches with three assists, his advantage is immeasurable. on paper.
“Evil thinker. Music scholar. Hipster-friendly communicator. Bacon geek. Amateur internet enthusiast. Introvert.”