In an emotional and high-class final, Novak Djokovic wins the grass classic in Wimbledon for the seventh time. Challenger Nick Kyrgios starts brilliantly, but again underpins his negative image.
Novak Djokovic spread his arms, took a piece of grass in his mouth and lay down on the ground overjoyed. The tennis superstar was crowned King of Wimbledon for the seventh time and celebrated his 21st title at a Grand Slam tournament. In an emotional and high-class final, the 35-year-old Serb defeated unseeded challenger Nick Kyrgios 4: 6, 6: 3, 6: 4, 7: 6 (7: 3).
The Aussie with the bad-boy image also threw himself out of rhythm after a strong start through debates with the referee, spectators and his own supporters. After 3:01 hours, Djokovic converted his third match point. For him it was the fourth title in a row at the classic lawn. In the all-time leaderboard for Grand Slam successes, he is only one title behind the 22-time winner Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard had to miss his semi-final against Kyrgios because of an injury.
Kyrgios is enthusiastic, but also provides a negative image
Djokovic won his 28th Wimbledon game in a row with the final success, only Roger Federer has triumphed more often with eight titles at Church Roard. Kyrgios, on the other hand, missed the coup as only the third unseeded player after Boris Becker in 1985 and Goran Ivanisevic, Djokovic’s current coach, in 2001.
He thrilled his fans with shows such as punches through the legs and his serve at up to 218 kilometers per hour. But the 27-year-old also underpinned his negative public image through a private feud with an allegedly drunk spectator, whose ejection he demanded, and allegations against his box.
The reactions after the surprising final victory of the Kazakh Jelena Rybakina over the world number two Ons Jabeur from Tunisia were less spectacular. The Russian-born celebrated her 3: 6, 6: 2, 6: 2 almost without emotion, only when she thought of her parents did the tears flow on Saturday evening.
British royals watch Djokovik spectacle
Djokovic had promised “emotional fireworks” from both players in advance – and the atmosphere on the completely filled Center Court was great from the start with similarly distributed sympathies. In his first service game, Kyrgios served directly from below to the murmur of the spectators, Djokovic countered ice cold after the return by stopping at the net.
In the royal box, eight-year-old Prince George took his place for the first time in a dark suit with a tie between his parents, Duchess Kate and Prince William. And the family saw a fearless performance from Kyrgios, who hadn’t faltered after his three-day break. Instead, Djokovic again had problems in the first set, as in the previous two rounds, a double error by the Serb brought Kyrgios the break to 3: 2 from the Australian’s point of view. He secured the first round with an ace after just 31 minutes.
The only Grand Slam triumph this year for Novak Djokovic
Djokovic had also lost the opening set in two of his six previous Wimbledon titles and again did not lose his concept. With a net scooter, the 35-year-old used his first breakball to make it 3-1, Kyrgios showed the first negative emotions and ironically pointed his thumb up towards the stands. When the Australian made a stop and Djokovic dived onto the lawn in vain, almost the entire audience stood up cheering for the first time. Djokovic fended off four breakballs and equalized after sets.
Genius and madness in Kyrgios alternated at ever shorter intervals, dream strokes followed slight mistakes. The controversial Australian debated with referee Renaud Lichtenstein more and more often, accused a spectator of having had “700 drinks”, and received a warning. At 4: 4, Kyrgios was already leading 40: 0, losing five points in a row and his serve. In the meantime, the Australian just ranted and lost the sentence.
The fourth movement became a nerve thriller. Kyrgios stabilized again, both players stayed constant on their own serve for a long time. At 5: 6 and 30:30 Djokovic had to tremble. He made it to the tiebreaker and kept his nerve. After missing the Australian Open because he was denied entry, it will remain Djokovic’s only Grand Slam triumph this year, as he is not allowed to travel to the US Open without being vaccinated.