Novak Djokovic battles past Nick Kyrgios to win seventh Wimbledon crown and 21st Grand Slam title
It was another glorious occasion for Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon as the top seed and reigning champion defended his title with a hard-fought victory over Nick Kyrgios on Centre Court. The 35-year-old, as is so often the case, slipped a set down after a sluggish start, but stormed back in impressive fashion to emerge victorious at the All England Club for the seventh time.
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Novak Djokovic fended off a typically feisty Nick Kyrgios in the final, 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3), to claim his seventh Wimbledon crown and 21st Grand Slam title.
In an explosive, heated and tense battle, Djokovic simply had too much for Kyrgios when it really mattered, and after a very challenging year so far, the Serb was able to add yet another Wimbledon title to his collection, moving one behind Roger Federer, and close the gap to one Grand Slam behind his other great rival, Rafael Nadal.
“He [Djokovic] is a bit of a god, I’m not going to lie," Kyrgios said with a smile in his post-match speech. "I thought I played well, but first of all, congratulations to Novak and your team. I don’t know how many times now."
Djokovic was also full of praise for his opponent: "I never thought I was going to say so many nice things about you considering the relationship. Okay, it’s officially a bromance. Hopefully, this is the start of a wonderful relationship between the two of us, off the court as well."
The unpredictable Australian made a fast start on serve in his maiden Grand Slam singles final against the top seed and reigning champion on Centre Court. The 27-year-old, who was unseeded at the All England Club, took just minutes to delight the fans with an underarm serve, which may well have been the first during a Wimbledon singles final.
Despite how successful the tactic often is for him, on this occasion Djokovic was very much ready and waiting and had no trouble at all pouncing to punish it. Thankfully for Kyrgios, he was 40-0 up on serve when he attempted the underarm delivery and he managed to hold from 40-30 without the game having to go to deuce.
As is so often the case, Djokovic lost the opening set as Kyrgios continued his positive and punishing start to the match. A single break of serve was sufficient for him to stamp his authority on the match and assume the early advantage.
In keeping with his previous performances at SW19, the Serb roared back almost immediately with a break of serve to seize the initiative in the second set. The first mutterings, and at times yells, followed from Kyrgios as he felt frustration for the first time in the match.
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A monumental service game drew the second set to a close as Djokovic fended off several break points in a seemingly interminable deuce as he battled and battled to come through under immense pressure to level up the match.
The third set was one of high drama as a tense Kyrgios totally lost his cool with the umpire over a fan who he felt was distracting him during a service game. "She's drunk out of her mind!" he yelled. "700 drinks, bro!" He received a code violation for his foul language during the rant.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates beating Australia's Nick Kyrgios during their men's singles final tennis match on the fourteenth day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club
Image credit: Getty Images
Djokovic, undeterred on the other side of the net, clinched the crucial break of serve and closed out the third set to move ahead in the match and leave Kyrgios chuntering to his box about a wide range of frustrations.
The tension could not have been higher in the fourth set as an irritated Kyrgios continued to let his feelings be very well known. It always felt as though he was not quite able to compete with Djokovic from the back of the court the longer the rallies, and indeed the match, went.
Again, it was Djokovic who best held his composure in the tie-break, taking it convincingly 7-3, to clinch yet another title - his seventh - after just over three hours at the All England Club. Kyrgios could not have given more in his first Grand Slam singles final, but on the day he was not able to deny his legendary opponent.