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Djokovic rallies past Kyrgios to seventh Wimbledon crown

Novak Djokovic came from behind for the third time in a row to claim a fourth straight and seventh overall Wimbledon title, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) over Nick Kyrgios on Sunday.

London, 11 July 2022 (dpa/MIA) – Novak Djokovic came from behind for the third time in a row to claim a fourth straight and seventh overall Wimbledon title, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) over Nick Kyrgios on Sunday.

Unseeded Kyrgios started strongly but the hot-headed Australian then started complaining with his box and about spectators in the third set and never fully managed to regain his form and composure from early on.

Top seed Djokovic was undeterred and wrapped up matters after 3 hours on third match point for his 21st career grand slam title, one shy of Rafael Nadal’s 22 but now one ahead of Roger Federer.

Djokovic was unable to play the Australian Open after being deported owing to coronavirus rules and for the same reason will also likely miss the US Open.

“I’ve lost words for what this tournament and this trophy means to me,” said Djokovic after receiving the trophy from the Duchess of Cambridge.

“It’s always has been and always will be the most special tournament in my heart. My first image of tennis was grass and Wimbledon.

“I always dreamed of coming here and just playing here. Every time, it gets more and more meaningful and special so I’m very blessed to be standing here with the trophy.”

The two have had a stormy relationship in the past as Kyrgios heavily criticised Djokovic for his behaviour in the early stages of the pandemic but then coming to his support when his Australian government deported him.

But that has changed now and after praising Kyrgios, Djokovic said: “I never thought I’d say so many nice things about you, considering the relationship. OK, it’s officially a bromance.”

Kyrgios named Djokovic “a bit of a god, I’m not gonna lie. I thought I played well … I’m really happy with this result, the best of my career.”

Sporting a red bascap in a violation of the Wimbledon dresscode, he added in the direction of the umpires “I want to say thank you – I know you and I have a very tough relationship at times.”

It was the third comeback for the Serb who rallied from two sets down in the quarter-finals against Jannik Sinner and also lost the first set in his semi against Cameron Norrie.

Kyrgios had reached his first final at the majors by walkover as Australian and French Open winner Nadal had withdrawn with an abdominal injury ahead of their semi-final.

He had won both previous matches against Djokovic and also drew first blood Sunday, going break up at 3-2 on a double fault and clinching the set – which also included an early underarm serve – with an ace.

But Djokovic swiftly levelled the sets thanks to a fourth-game break as he started to read Kyrgios’ serve in a better way.

The third was tight and Kyrgios received a warning after the fifth game when he complained about a spectator talking between his serves.

The muttering continued and Kyrgios was then at boiling point when he dropped serve to trail 5-4 with a double fault and backhand error, upset that his box stopped voicing their support when he was 40-0 up.

Djokovic was unfazed and calmly served out the set when Kyrgios hit two returns wide.

A long bathroom break from Djokovic also helped Kyrgios settled down again and a tense fourth set stayed on serve although he was two points from winning the set in the 12th game at 30-30 but Djokovic forced the tiebreak.

A double fault from Kyrgios handed Djokovic a 1-0 lead and the world number one raced off to a 6-1 lead and five match points thanks to several further unforced errors from Kyrgios.

The Australian managed to save the first two, including with his 30th ace, but Djokovic came third time lucky as the clock ticked to 3 hours, triumphing when Kyrgios netted a backhand and celebrating in familiar style by tasting some of the grass.

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