Steady Djokovic Outplays Volatile Kyrgios at Wimbledon

Champion wins his seventh straight All England Club title, fourth in a row
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2022 2:10 PM CDT
Steady Djokovic Outplays Volatile Kyrgios at Wimbledon
Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a return Sunday in London.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Winning Wimbledon doesn't get old, Novak Djokovic says. And his insight on the issue is nearly unique, after he won his seventh men's title in London on Sunday and his fourth straight, ESPN reports. Pete Sampras also won seven championships; only Roger Federer, with eight, has more. "Every single time, it gets more and more meaningful and special," Djokovic said after defeating Nick Kyrgios 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-6 (7-3). "It always has been, and will be, the most special tournament in my heart—the one that motivated me and inspired me to start playing tennis in a small little mountain resort in Serbia.''

Djokovic had to come from behind after a fast start by Kyrgios, per CNN. But the top seed steadily worked his way back while his opponent shouted at himself and his team, received a warning from the chair for cursing, and threw a water bottle. In 29 grand slam tournaments before this, Kyrgios, who's ranked 40th in the world and was unseeded at Wimbledon, had never moved beyond a quarterfinal. The Australian's performance Sunday was entertaining, as he attempted shots between his legs and hit some returns with his back to the net. In the opening set, Kyrgios' second serve hit 125mph. It was not returned. He then delivered an underarm serve, per the Guardian. Overall, he had 30 aces.

Asked afterward if he'd be back at Wimbledon, per the Washington Post, Kyrgios drew laughs with: "Absolutely not. I'm set for life." Djokovic praised his play and reassured him, saying, "Nick, you’ll be back." Djokovic's immediate future isn't clear, either. Because of mandates, the unvaccinated Djokovic may not play in the upcoming US Open and Australian Open. He missed this year's Australian for that reason, and even after Sunday, Rafael Nadal is one Grand Slam singles title ahead of him, with 22. (More Wimbledon stories.)

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