Djokovic was in early deficit as Kyrgios got off to a fast start. But the 35-year-old experienced battled to win his seventh Wimbledon title – he won in 2018, 2019 and 2021 after 2020 was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He is now one Grand Slam title behind Rafael Nadal’s all-time record of 22.
Then Djokovic – who said Kyrgios was “incredible talent” and would be back in a Grand Slam final – said he had “lost words about what this tournament and this trophy means to me. “.
“It has always been and will always be the most special thing in my heart. It motivated me to play at my little hill station and I saw Pete Sampras win and I asked my mum and dad to help me. buy a racquet,” he told Sue Barker. on center court holding the Wimbledon trophy.
“It was my first image of tennis – every time it becomes more meaningful and I’m lucky to be here with the trophy.
“It’s the most special tennis court in the world and when you walk on the untouched grass and it’s all so focused on the tennis, the ball and the racquet of the players and it’s the most recognized in the world.”
It was the battle of one of the greatest against the maverick in tennis.
And in the scorching London sun, without a cloud in sight, it didn’t disappoint.
Despite playing in his first Grand Slam final, Kyrgios – who qualified for the final after Nadal withdrew through injury – showed no signs of impressing. Facing the world No. 3, his powerful serve exploded from the start.
The pair traded exchanges at a rapid pace, with both showing supreme precision and skill to keep each other on their toes.
Midway through the first set, Kyrgios made the first big break. The Aussie broke Djokovic’s service game and, behind his nearly unrecoverable serve, clinched the opening set to calm his nerves – if there were any in fact.
Djokovic, playing in his 32nd Grand Slam final, was often the under-favored player when he played at Wimbledon, often coming up against Nadal and Roger Federer, and the same was true in Sunday’s final.
Kyrgios’ unique style of play, including his occasional shots to his box, won over the spectators and so did the final, with the 27-year-old receiving much of the support.
However, in the second set, Djokovic slowly but surely found his feet.
He was able to extend the rallies, using his dexterity and resilience to stay in the game and ultimately carry Kyrgios.
And in the fourth game of the set, he beat Kyrgios to take a two-game lead – the first time he had beaten the Australian in their three encounters.
Kyrgios fought to stay in the set, earning three break points as Djokovic served to level the sets. But, despite some complaints towards his box, he couldn’t convert any of those, as Djokovic brought the game back to par.
The third set was the most consistent so far. Both players displaying solid serves, they showed extreme quality in the exchange of plays.
Midway through the set, Kyrgios began to show some of the petulance that plagued his career. A noise from the crowd between a first and a second serve prompts him to complain about the referee. After closing the match, the television microphone picked up Kyrgios asking the referee for the offender to be sent off.
“There is no other bigger occasion and they did it again and it almost cost me the point,” he raged. “She’s completely drunk, so kick her out. I know exactly who it is – she looks like she’s had about 700 drinks.”
In the following game, the pressure started to look telling on Kyrgios as Djokovic beat the 27-year-old, which resulted in a reprimand heading towards his box during the break between games.
And, serving the set, Djokovic made no mistake, coming back from a set down to have a lead.
With the end in sight, Djokovic locked in and started turning the screw. But, despite being on new ground, Kyrgios remained firm.
Nothing could separate the pair, as they went back and forth, ultimately needing a tie-break to decide if Kyrgios could force a final set or if Djokovic would get his hands on the famous trophy again.
In the most pressured situation of the match to date, Djokovic’s experience showed as he took a big lead, not giving it up as he won a remarkable seventh Wimbledon title.
Afterwards, Kyrgios praised Djokovic, despite their past differences, calling him ‘a bit of a god’.
However, when asked if reaching his first Grand Slam final left him wanting more, Kyrgios was adamant.
“Absolutely not! Honestly, I’m so tired. Myself, my team, we’re all exhausted. We’ve played so much tennis,” he told Sue Barker on center court.
“I’m really happy with this result and maybe one day I’ll be here again but I don’t know about that.”