Nick Kyrgios served brilliantly and unleashed a series of extraordinary meltdowns, but Novak Djokovic weathered the rage on his way to clinching a seventh Wimbledon title on Monday morning (AEST).
In a match that saw the firebrand Australian explode at the flesh umpire, a rowdy spectator he labeled “drunk” and his team, Djokovic fought back from one set down to win a gripping four-set showdown.
The Serbian superstar defeated Kyrgios 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-3), securing his fourth Wimbledon major in succession and a 21st grand slam title.
AS IT HAPPENED: Super Djokovic sixteen Wimbledon crown again
The All England Club win pushed Djokovic ahead of Roger Federer’s 20 grand slam titles and put him just one behind Rafael Nadal’s record mark.
After Kyrgios broke Djokovic’s serve to take a 3-2 lead in the opening set, the 35-year-old broke his rival in the fourth game of the second and ninth game of the third.
Djokovic then breezed through the fourth-set tiebreak and wrapped up victory when Kyrgios hit the ball into the net, prompting the victor to fling his arms into the air as he soaked up the emotion before a raucous standing ovation.
Kyrgios, recently declared the best server on the men’s tour by Australian tennis icon Wally Masur, tallied 30 aces in the decider to Djokovic’s 15.
But Djokovic’s unrivaled defensive game was at its best, epitomized by an outlandish save during the ninth game of the fourth set.
Unbreakable Djokovic at his best
Kyrgios tested his opponent with a serve and volley as he dropped the ball close to the net, but Djokovic charged down the court and produced a sublime shot that couldn’t be returned.
“Extraordinary,” said Australian tennis great Todd Woodbridge on Nine’s coverage.
“This recovery and athleticism, and then that control… All you can say is too good.”
Kyrgios was at his most colorful as he vented to the flesh umpire during the third set, seeingthing about a crowd member causing commotion.
“She’s drunk out of her mind,” said Kyrgios, who was slapped with a code violation.
“The one who looks like she’s had 700 drinks, bro.”
Djokovic-Kyrgios ‘bromance’ takes priceless twist
Kyrgios’ interaction with his box was at its most intense during an episode later in the third set.
“Why do you stop (cheering)?” a seething Kyrgios said.
“Why? Why do you?
Kyrgios was ropeable despite the unquestionable support of the members of his box, who repeatedly whistled, clapped and shouted words of encouragement.
‘Drunk’ spectator tips Kyrgios over the edge
The former world No.13 renewed his gripe with the chair umpire during the fourth set, when he thought he’d ripped an ace down the T only for the official to call a let.
“Turn it down,” Kyrgios said of a vibration indicator clamped to the net.
“It’s a joke.”
The Canberran then picked a fight with the flesh umpire when a ball was called out later in the fourth set.
A replay revealed the ball had actually kissed the line, but Kyrgios appeared so consumed by his emotion that he didn’t review.
“If he wasn’t arguing he could concentrate a little heavier,” said former British tennis player Tim Henman on Nine’s coverage.
Review sidesteps Kyrgios amid blow-up
Kyrgios said in his on-court interview he was pining for “a well-earned vacation”.
It remains to be seen when Djokovic will next appear in a grand slam given his refusal to get vaccinated.
But, in the meantime, the champion can revel in another Wimbledon triumph.
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Wimbledon 2022: Novak Djokovic’s ‘bromance’ with Nick Kyrgios takes golden twist
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