Novak Djokovic produced a returning masterclass to surge to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3) championship match victory against Nick Kyrgios on Sunday at Wimbledon and claim his fourth consecutive crown at the grass-court major.
Djokovic’s seventh triumph in London draws him level with legendary American Pete Sampras’ tally of singles trophies won at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
The 35-year-old Djokovic is now just one behind Roger Federer’s record of eight Wimbledon triumphs, and one Grand Slam title behind Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 major crowns.
After some scintillating Kyrgios shotmaking took him to the opening set on Centre Court, Djokovic found his rhythm on return to take the upper hand in an intriguing clash of game styles on Centre Court.
Despite Kyrgios firing 30 aces in a three-hour, one-minute enocunter, the top seed broke his opponent at crucial moments in both the second and third sets before a nerveless showing in the fourth-set tie-break, his first of the tournament, sealed the victory and extended his winning streak at SW19 to 28 matches.
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“I lost words for what this tournament, this trophy means to me, my team, my family,” said Djokovic at the trophy presentation. “I’ve said this many times. It always has been and always will be the most special tournament in my heart, the one that motivated me, inspired me to start playing tennis in a small mountain resort in Serbia where my parents used to run a restaurant.
“I was four or five years old and I saw Pete Sampras win his first Wimbledon in 1992. I asked my Dad and Mum to buy me a racquet, and my first image of tennis was grass and Wimbledon. I always dreamed of coming here, just playing in this court, and then realising the childhood dream of winning this trophy. Every single time it gets more meaningful and more special, so I’m very blessed and very thankful to be standing here with the trophy.”