Novak Djokovic’s life has finally returned to normal, as seen by his raising of his arms after winning the final point, his champion’s grin, and his nibbling and plucking of the Centre Court grass.
Since the Serb’s victory on the same court a year prior, everything had changed for him. He had been defeated by competitors at the 2021 US Open and 2022 French Open, and his participation in the 2022 Australian Open had been barred. Djokovic was back in the Grand Slam race as he sank to the ground and spread his arms wide, mimicking his sliding gesture from his five-set quarterfinal victory.
In order to tie Pete Sampras for the most Wimbledon titles, he defeated the mercurial-to-mature (so he claims) Nick Kyrgios by scores of 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, and 7-6(3). With one more, he will match Roger Federer’s record of eight. The 21-time champion is now one more Slam victory than Roger Federer and one short of Rafael Nadal’s record as he holds the trophy for the fourth consecutive triumph on Centre Court, where he hasn’t lost since 2013.
After winning Wimbledon, where does Novak Djokovic rank among all-time Grand Slam winners alongside Nadal and Federer?
Before the Wimbledon final, Djokovic renders a judgement on Nadal’s announcement of his withdrawal and makes a startling injury admission.
The world No. 3 becomes only the fourth man in the Open Era to win Wimbledon four times in a row and the first player to win seven or more titles at two distinct Grand Slams.
In his on-court remarks following the game, Djokovic remarked, “I am at a loss for words as to what this competition, this trophy, means to me. “Grass and Wimbledon were my first impressions of tennis.”
Since 2018, this picture of Djokovic arriving at Wimbledon, sauntering into the second week, gliding into the championship match, and winning has been frequently seen. It was his eighth Wimbledon final and 32nd Grand Slam, compared to his Australian opponent’s debut.
As the athletes waited in the foyer before entering the court, Kyrgios yawned. For the most important game of his career, he was fully awake. A 125 mph second serve blitz, an underarm serve, and a stunning forehand down-the-line winner that twisted in and landed inside the sideline were just a few of the creative Nick serves that were used.
Even though Krygios was sapping Djokovic’s strengths by switching things up, he was far more alert than he had been at the beginning of his previous two encounters. In the fifth game, Kyrgios forced Djokovic to the net and earned two break chances, the second of which he lost when he committed a double fault.
Even with the best returner in the world on the opposing side, Kyrgios’ powerful and precise serve remained unaffected. The Australian had lost two points on serve prior to that break. For the rest of the set, he dropped just three more games while serving at 5-4. When the Serb netted a return off the second serve and turned to face the sky, the score was 30-30. He was quickly put to rest.
Kyrgios was as concentrated as he had been for the past two weeks, silent and with plenty of quality. Unfazed, Djokovic rode the Kyrgios wave and awaited his chance to reverse the situation. It appeared in the third game during the longest rally of the final, a 23-shot rally that Djokovic won by forcing Kyrgios to run across the baseline. It indicated a change in play style, forward momentum, and decision-making.
The Serb dropped to 0-40 in the following match thanks to a forehand fault by Kyrgios wedged between a strong Djokovic response and a backhand winner. Djokovic broke Krygios’ strong serve for the first time in their three meetings thanks to a fortunate net cord. When the Aussie missed four break points with Djokovic serving for the set and ultimately winning it, the usual Kyrgios buzz and bustle had already started.
Kyrgios appeared to be daydreaming. When he was serving, someone in the audience was “distracting me,” he yelled at the chair umpire. The game almost cost me. Djokovic maintained his composure and served better, winning 94% of the points on his first serve, while Kyrgios’ focus dropped (Kyrgios was down to 66 percent ). Even between a first and second serve in the ninth game, where he went from 40-0 to deuce to being broken after a backhand error, Kyrgios remained talking to his box frequently.
While watching Djokovic serve out the set, he mockingly cheered from his box. Throughout the fourth set, when neither player gave an inch to the other on serve, there was genuine cheers. The tiebreaker was launched by Kyrgios with a double fault, a long forehand, and a wide backhand, along with screaming and a 6-1 disadvantage. At the net, Kyrgios gave Djokovic a loving embrace after successfully returning a backhand.
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