Djokovic denies Kyrgios to win magnificent seventh Wimbledon title

Jonathan Davies in Wimbledon 10 Jul 2022
Djokovic captured his 21st Grand Slam crown on Sunday (UPI/Alamy Live News)

Novak Djokovic claimed a magnificent seventh Wimbledon title after coming from behind to beat Nick Kyrgios by three sets to one in the final.

It was also a fourth on the spin at SW19 for the Serbian, who became the fourth male player to achieve that feat after Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.

Despite losing the first set against Kyrgios, who was appearing in his maiden Grand Slam showpiece, Djokovic recovered to join Sampras and William Renshaw on seven crowns at the All England Club, while moving to within one of Federer’s record tally of eight.

Although, the top seed did leapfrog the Swiss ace after capturing his 21st piece of Grand Slam silverware; a total now only bettered by Margaret Court (24), Serena Williams (23), Steffi Graf and Rafael Nadal (both 22).

“I’ve lost words for what this tournament and trophy means to me and my team and family,” said Djokovic.

“I’ve said this many times – it always has been and always will be the most special tournament in my heart; the one that motivated and inspired me to start playing tennis.

“My first image of tennis was grass and Wimbledon. I always dreamed of coming here, playing on this court and realising the childhood dream and winning this trophy.

“Every single time, it gets more and more meaningful and special, so I’m very blessed and very thankful to be standing here with the trophy.

“This tournament has the most history and most recognition around the world. I’m extremely happy and grateful to be here.”

Appearing in his first major final at the 30th attempt, Kyrgios was the first Australian and unseeded player to contest the men’s singles championship match at Wimbledon since Mark Philippoussis in 2003.

But the world number 40 seemed to settle quickly; dropping just five points on serve and crucially breaking in game five, before his seventh ace of the contest wrapped up the opening set.

However, this was not unchartered territory for Djokovic, who had also lost the opening set in his quarter-final and semi-final victories over Jannik Sinner and Cameron Norrie respectively.

It had been 73 years since a male player had lifted the trophy at Wimbledon having dropped the first set in each of his final three matches; Ted Schroeder last achieving the feat in 1949.

Nevertheless, the top seed made a purposeful start to the second; breaking in game four to establish control.

Although, Kyrgios squandered four opportunities to respond and prolong proceedings at 5-3, and his frustration was evident as the reigning champion levelled.

The Australian’s inability to convert game points proved costly again in the third set; three going begging from 40-0 up at 4-4.

Venting his anger towards his entourage, he was made to pay by a man whose last defeat on Centre Court came against Andy Murray in the 2013 final.

Neither player buckled on serve as a tense fourth set went to a tie-break. Djokovic, who saved five of the six break points he faced, needed no second opportunity with the finish line in sight; dominating proceedings to secure title number seven.

“He’s a bit of a God, I thought I played well,” Kyrgios said. “It’s been an amazing couple of weeks for me personally.

“I definitely need a well-earned vacation after this one.

“I’m just really happy with this result – it’s probably the best in my career – and hopefully one day, I’ll be here again, but I don’t know about that.”

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