WIMBLEDON, England — Novak Djokovic defeated Nick Kyrgios within the Wimbledon final Sunday to win his twenty first Grand Slam single title.
Djokovic seized control of the match late within the third set, then used his trademark mixture of power and discipline to maintain Kyrgios at bay to win, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
The victory gave Djokovic his seventh men’s singles title at Wimbledon and his fourth in a row. He secured the trophy he cherishes greater than some other in his twenty eighth consecutive win at Wimbledon, his thirty ninth consecutive win on Centre Court and in his thirty second Grand Slam final.
Kyrgios, playing in his first Grand Slam final, was the higher player, outplaying Djokovic in every facet of the sport. But as he so often does, Djokovic discovered the small ways he could get the most effective of the usually erratic Australian on those essential points that determine a tennis match as tight as this one.
Those got here within the fourth-set tiebreaker, as Djokovic moaned his way through the rallies and induced Kyrgios into 4 straight errors to take a 6-1 lead.
On his third match point, Djokovic pushed Kyrgios into the back of the court and watched one last backhand hit the online. He raised his arms, and as he has so over and over before, took a taste of the Centre Court grass in celebration.
Within the long history of this tournament, there have been finals with more storied champions and players way more beloved than Djokovic and Kyrgios, however it’s unlikely there has ever been one which presented a greater contrast in styles, in tennis résumés, in personality and even of their approaches to tennis and life.
Djokovic, 35, entered the match in search of his twenty first Grand Slam title, second only to Rafael Nadal, who has 22. (Roger Federer, who will turn 41 next month and is recovering from knee surgery, has 20. Last week, he pledged to try to come back back to Wimbledon for one last time.)
Kyrgios had never even made a Grand Slam semifinal until last week. He still has not played in a single because Nadal withdrew from the tournament with an abdominal tear the day before their semifinal match.
The ultimate brought an irresistible-force-meets-immovable-object feel to this prestigious championship. Djokovic was 10-1 in five-set matches at Wimbledon. Kyrgios had never lost one. Djokovic has a winning record against nearly every top player, except Kyrgios, who had not lost a set to him of their two matches.
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