The beginning was far from simple. One bad game was enough to Novak Djokovic (35 years old, current #3 in the world) see a set below in Wimbledon final against Nick Kyrgios (27 years old, #40). The Serbian, however, was fitting his returns, raising his level and building his victory little by little. When the Australian, in his first slam final, started yelling at his team and lost concentration in the final stretch of the third set, Nole was relentless. He won five straight points on the opponent’s serve, won the break and the partial and started to lift the trophy of Wimbledon by seventh time. The final score showed 4/6, 6/3, 6/4 and 7/6(3).
With the title this Sunday, Djokovic equals William Renshaw and Pete Sampras in second place among the greatest champions of the grass slam. The leader among men is Roger Federer, with eight trophies.
Wimbledon seven times means Djokovic now has 21 career singles slam titles and is on top of current record holder Rafael Nadal, who won the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year for 22. Nole leaves behind Swiss Roger Federer, who has 20. On the overall list, including women, Djokovic is fifth, also behind Margaret Court (24), Serena Williams (23) and Steffi Graf (22).
More spectacular numbers
Djokovic is now the fourth man in the Open Era (from 1968) to win Wimbledon four times in a row. Only Federer, Sampras and Sweden’s Bjorn Borg managed to do this.
The Serb becomes the second oldest man of the Open Era to win Wimbledon. At 35 years and 49 days old, Nole is second only to Federer, who was champion in 2017 at 35 years and 342 days old.
on the men’s list With more than 30 years, Djokovic is again the record holder of slam titles in an isolated way. This Sunday’s achievement is his ninth as a “thirty”. Rafael Nadal, who is 36 years old, is second on the list at eight.
This Sunday’s victory was the Djokovic’s 28th straight at Wimbledon. He hasn’t lost since pulling out, injured, against Tomas Berdych in the 2017 quarterfinals. It’s the fourth longest streak by a tennis player in the Open Era tournament. Only Borg (41), Federer (40) and Sampras (31) had longer streaks.
Kyrgios takes the lead
Djokovic started the game conservatively, without risking too much and mostly letting Kyrgios take the lead in the rallies. It worked on the first few games, but on the fifth, when the first service didn’t come in, the veteran paid the price. The Australian reached two break points after a beautiful left pass on the parallel. Djokovic saved himself with a nice defensive shot in the first, but then committed a double fault and saw Kyrgios open 3/2, with a break in the lead.
The Australian served too well and gave the favorite few chances. In the entire first set, Kyrgios landed 77% of first serves and won 80% of points on the ground. In the only game where he was pressured-when serving at 5/4, he fired a second serve at 196km/h, and shortly afterwards an ace at 210km/h. And that’s how, with an indefensible serve, Nick closed the partial at 6/4.
Djokovic fits returns
In the first set, the serve and consistency of Kyrgios, who made just four unforced errors (and three of them came in the last game), made the difference. In the second, it was Djokovic’s returns that weighed heavily. In the fourth game, after two excellent returns, Nole saw Kyrgios miss three straight points. Right at the first break point, the veteran sent a ball that touched the tape and died next to Kyrgios, sealing the break.
After a couple of conservative games, the Australian started to take more risks in the exchanges, but he couldn’t get chances in the six-time champion’s serve. They came, however, in the ninth game, with Djokovic serving at 5/3, when Nole double-faulted, and Kyrgios made a beautiful pass to reach a short. Pressed (0/40), Novak saved the three break points thanks to his rival’s mistakes, but gave up a fourth with a long right. A great short saved the veteran once again. During the point, a scream from the crowd bothered Kyrgios, who complained intensely after losing the game and the set.
Kyrgios loses patience and pays the price
Kyrgios spent much of the third set complaining. He complained about his team, complained about the referee and complained about a fan who, according to him, “looks like she’s had 700 drinks”. The Australian also earned points by hitting the ball under his legs, pretending to serve under it and with excellent first serves.
In the ninth game, however, Kyrgios’ troubled relationship with his team took its toll. The Australian opened 40/0, but lost two straight points going up to the net, saw Djokovic shoot a winner and went crazy for good. As he continued to complain to the team, arguing that the people in his box shouldn’t have relaxed when the score was 40/0, Kyrgios double-faulted, threw a left into the net and missed the serve. Djokovic, relentless, confirmed the serve in the sequence, made it 6/4 and took the lead.
As Kyrgios tried to recover while dealing with his dilemmas, Djokovic served better and better. In the third set, he won 94% (15/16) of the points with the first serve. In the fourth quarter, he won all of the first 13 points played with first serve. With the Australian serving well once again and with no break points conceded, the decision went to a tie-break.
Kyrgios opened the tiebreaker game with a double fault, forcing the second serve. Djokovic opened 2/0 with a good climb to the net, but sent a right into the net, returning the mini-break in the next spot. The Australian, however, did not take advantage, made two mistakes in a row and gave an advantage that the veteran did not waste any more.
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