Novak Djokovic beats Nick Kyrgios to seal seventh Wimbledon title

Top seed defeats Australian in four sets at All England Club and moves to 21 Grand Slam wins

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Novak Djokovic came from a set down to beat Nick Kyrgios on Sunday to seal a seventh Wimbledon title at the All England Club.

Kyrgios, playing his first Grand Slam singles final, served superbly to take the first set but Djokovic quickly fought back before going on to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6.

It is Djokovic’s 21st Grand Slam crown, putting him one behind record-holder Rafael Nadal. Only Roger Federer has won more Wimbledon titles than the Serbian, with eight.

He is also just the fourth man in the Open era to win four successive Wimbledon titles after Federer, Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg.

“I am lost words for what this tournament and this trophy means to me,” said the 35-year-old in his on-court interview after the match.

“It always has been and will be the most special one in my heart. It motivated me to play in my small mountain resort and I saw Pete Sampras win and I asked my mum and dad to buy me a racquet.

“It was my first image of tennis – every single time it gets more meaningful and I'm blessed to be standing here with the trophy.

“It is the most special tennis court in the world and when you walk on the untouched grass and everything is so directed on the tennis, the players' ball and racquet and it has the most recognition in the world.”

Djokovic also praised Kyrgios after their once-frosty relationship thawed at Wimbledon.

“I really respect you a lot, you are an amazing talent and now everything is starting to come together for you. I never thought I would say so many nice things about you considering the relationship,” he said.

“It's officially a bromance. You showed you deserve to be the best in the world especially on this surface, after this tournament, I wish you all the best.”

Kyrgios was seen yawning at the top of the All England Club stairs as the players made their way on to Centre Court.

But there was no lethargy when the final began as Djokovic, playing in a men's record 32nd Slam final, was blown off court by his 27-year-old opponent making his maiden bow.

Kyrgios raced through the first set, breaking in the fifth game and taking the opener with his seventh ace of the contest.

Along the way, he showcased one underarm serve, a “tweener” and impeccable behaviour.

Djokovic, renowned as the best returner in the game and undefeated at the tournament since 2017, managed to win just four points off the Kyrgios serve.

It was the third match in a row at this Wimbledon that the 35-year-old had dropped the first set.

Djokovic won a lung-busting 23-shot rally in the third game of the second set and immediately broke for a 3-1 lead.

It was the cue for Kyrgios's first dark mutterings of the afternoon.

Kyrgios then saw four break points slip away as Djokovic levelled the final by taking his first set off the Australian in three meetings.

World No 40 Kyrgios saved two break points in the opening game of the third set.

There was a brief stoppage in play when a protester was ejected from the stadium for shouting “Where is Peng Shuai?” in reference to the welfare of the Chinese women's player.

Kyrgios was further unsettled when he demanded a fan be removed from the crowd for distracting him in his serve.

“It's the woman who looks as if she's had 700 drinks, bro” he told umpire Renaud Lichtenstein.

His afternoon threatened to unravel completely when he was broken from 40-0 up in the ninth game, fuming and swearing loudly at his team in the player's box.

Djokovic, with only two unforced errors, happily pounced for a two sets-to-one lead.

As Kyrgios continued to remonstrate with himself and his supporters, Djokovic strolled to victory, wrapping up the title with a convincing tiebreak.

After donning his red baseball cap to collect the runners-up trophy from the Duchess of Cambridge, Kyrgios said: “He’s a bit of a god. I thought I played well.

“To all the ball kids, umpires – I know we have a tough relationship – thank you for putting up with me. And the crowd have been amazing.”

Asked by BBC presenter Sue Barker if he had got taste for more Grand Slam finals, he said: “Absolutely not, I’m so tired.

“Myself and my team are all exhausted. I need a well-earned vacation. I’m really happy with this result, the best of my career. Maybe one day I’ll be back.”

Updated: July 10, 2022, 5:25 PM
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