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Djokovic: 'I Don't Take Any Wins For Granted'

  • Posted: Jul 10, 2022

Djokovic: ‘I Don’t Take Any Wins For Granted’

Serbian reflects on his Wimbledon triumph

It was a familiar scene on Centre Court Sunday. Just moments after securing another Wimbledon title, the Serbian knelt down, pulled a piece of grass from the court and tasted his victory.

On this occasion, that bite was extra sweet. Djokovic claimed his first major title of the season and his 21st Grand Slam overall by defeating Nick Kyrgios in an exciting four-set final.

“Obviously over the moon with joy and happiness of experiencing this moment once again. I’ve said it many times, this tournament is extra special for me because it has been the first tournament that I’ve ever watched as a kid that got me to start playing tennis,” Djokovic said. “I don’t take any wins for granted, and particularly not [at] Wimbledon. In contrary, actually every time feels a bit different, special in its own way. Of course, having family and close people in my life here to share this victory with them, it was beautiful.”

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Djokovic Defeats Kyrgios For Seventh Wimbledon Title

This time one year ago, Djokovic earned his third major of the 2021 season and positioned himself for a run at the Grand Slam — lifting all four major trophies in a calendar year. Entering this edition of The Championships, however, he had only claimed one trophy for the season.

That did not spoil the Serbian’s confidence, though. The 35-year-old has now won four straight Wimbledon titles and has not lost a completed match at the tournament since the third round in 2016 against Sam Querrey.

“Coming into Wimbledon, I felt good for my tennis because I’ve won three titles in a row here prior to this year. I always liked playing on grass. I felt like each year I’ve been improving my tennis on grass,” Djokovic said. “I came off from Paris from a tough and also emotional loss against Nadal that obviously was disappointing. But Rome, Paris, I was already playing the tennis that I want to play, that puts me in a position to compete for the greatest titles.

“I liked my chance coming into Wimbledon. As I always am, I’m very inspired to play my best tennis in London.”

Read More From The Final
Kyrgios: ‘I Was Right There’ With Djokovic 
Brain Game: The Moment Djokovic Flipped The Final Against Kyrgios
Ivanisevic Praises Djokovic’s Win, Calls Kyrgios ‘Tennis Genius’

Kyrgios has proven a fan favourite around the world with his unpredictable game, which features everything from underarm serves to tweeners. But Djokovic had his own supporters who got behind him on Centre Court as he closed in on the trophy, which put him in a tie with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw for second-most Wimbledon men’s singles titles in history behind Roger Federer.

“I did definitely feel support and feel love from the crowd today, so I’m very grateful for that,” Djokovic said. “Obviously it’s not [a] secret that any player would like to have people backing him during the match because in the end of the day this could make a quite big difference with how you feel mentally. Definitely easier to overcome certain obstacles and situations in the match when you have people supporting you and being there for you.”

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In the end, it was Djokovic’s experience that helped him over the line against Kyrgios, who put up a spirited effort in his first major final. The Serbian has appeared in 32 major championship matches, the most of any man in history. Kyrgios pointed to the 27-year-old’s composure as a key in the match, which the champion appreciated.

“I’m obviously thankful to him for praising my composure. I knew that that probably was one of the key elements today in order to win against him,” Djokovic said. “Not that he’s not composed, but he had never played in a Wimbledon final. We know that also he kind of has his ups and downs in the match. My experience of playing in this kind of occasion before could eventually decide or could help to my own advantage and favour.”

Rod Laver Arena, the centre court at the Australian Open, has been Djokovic’s most successful court — he has lifted the trophy at the season’s first major nine times after all. But having won seven of the past 11 editions of Wimbledon, the 35-year-old is proving more than comfortable on the hallowed lawns of Centre Court.

“The more you win, it’s logical the more confident, the more comfortable you feel out there every next time you step out on the court,” Djokovic said. “So the run keeps going. I feel very connected with this court and with this tournament, without a doubt.”

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Brain Game: The Moment Djokovic Flipped The Wimbledon Final Against Kyrgios

  • Posted: Jul 10, 2022

Brain Game: The Moment Djokovic Flipped The Wimbledon Final Against Kyrgios

Brain Game analyses the championship match 

The longest rally had the biggest effect on the final outcome.

Novak Djokovic defeated Nick Kyrgios 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3) in the Wimbledon final on Sunday, turning around his fortunes early in the second set by finding his consistency and rhythm in a 23-shot rally when serving at 1-1, 30/30. It was the longest point of the match, and the exact tonic Djokovic needed to reinvigorate his game after dropping the opening set. He won that long point and a 19-shot rally on the next point at 40/30.

Those two points were the dividing line in the match. They signaled exactly when the momentum shifted and where Djokovic took control of the match with his championship mojo. The following breakdown identifies the change in fortunes in extended rallies before this moment in time and after it.

Rallies Of 9+ Shots
First 8 Rallies (Up to 1-1, 30/30, Second set): Kyrgios won 7/Djokovic won 1
Rest Of The Match: Kyrgios won 3/Djokovic won 16

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Djokovic’s confidence was suddenly brimming after hammering home his advantage in longer rallies, and he broke Kyrgios’ serve to love in the next game. It was the first time Djokovic had broken Kyrgios in just more than five sets of tennis, dating back to their two matches in 2017, which the Australian won. Breaking serve broke the focus and concentration of Kyrgios, whose body language became increasingly irritated for the remainder of the match.

Djokovic only won 36 per cent (4/11) of all rallies that went five shots or longer in the opening set, but that escalated to 63 per cent (36/57) over the remaining three sets as Djokovic figured out it was far better to grind with Kyrgios than go toe-to-toe with him playing first-strike tennis.

Djokovic craved baseline exchanges and his winning percentage from the back of the court proves his plan worked to perfection.

Baseline Points Won
Djokovic: 63% (61/97)
Kyrgios: 33% (33/100)

Djokovic won almost double (61-33) the number of points when he finished the point at the back of the court compared to Kyrgios. His primary target was to go after Kyrgios’ forehand out wide in the Deuce court, breaking it down by making the Australian repeatedly have to hit his forehand on the run. Djokovic only committed 14 forehand errors for the match, while Kyrgios notched 41.

It is important to note that the final, like most matches on Tour, was not won by the player that hit the most winners. The following breakdown speaks to the reality of taking titles on the world’s biggest stage.

Total Winners
Djokovic: 46
Kyrgios: 63

Total Errors
Djokovic: 50
Kyrgios: 86

As Djokovic’s groundstroke game blossomed, that success spilled over to other areas of his game, particularly with his first serve.

Djokovic First-Serve Points Won
First Two Sets: 74% (29/39)
Last Two Sets: 92% (33/36)

The Serbian only lost three points behind his first serve in 11 service games in the last two sets. Once he got his teeth into the match by winning the 23 and 19-shot rallies early in the second set, it felt like a light switch had been flipped. Until then, Djokovic had been mostly reacting to the heat Kyrgios was throwing at him with big serves and aggressive net play. After that, Djokovic was the more confident and positive player, running Kyrgios side to side from the back of the court.

The two long rallies settled Djokovic’s game and gave him a pathway forward for his fourth straight Wimbledon title and 21st Grand Slam trophy overall.

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Ivanisevic Praises Djokovic's Wimbledon Win, Calls Kyrgios 'Tennis Genius'

  • Posted: Jul 10, 2022

Ivanisevic Praises Djokovic’s Wimbledon Win, Calls Kyrgios ‘Tennis Genius’

Djokovic has captured four straight titles at The Championships

Novak Djokovic clawed closer to Rafael Nadal’s men’s singles record of 21 Grand Slam titles on Sunday when he defeated Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final. The Serbian’s coach, 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, was ecstatic for his charge.

“For me he was a favourite here. Before the tournament he really played some unbelievable tennis. But you still need to win the tournament, so it was not easy,” Ivanisevic said. “But [a] Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. He [has] 21. He really deserves it. He really deserves it.”

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At the same time, Ivanisevic was highly complimentary of first-time major finalist Kyrgios, who pushed Djokovic to a fourth-set tie-break. The Croatian explained what makes facing the Australian so difficult.

“You cannot prepare [for a] match against Nick Kyrgios. Nick Kyrgios is a genius, tennis genius. He doesn’t know what he’s going to play next in the point,” Ivanisevic said. “We just concentrate [on] what Novak has to do, the things he has to do, the things he has to be careful [of]. When somebody [is] serving like Nick Kyrgios — for me [he] is the best server in the game by far. Unbelievable tennis player. [He] is very unpredictable.”

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Kyrgios hit 30 aces and 62 total winners in the three-hour, one-minute final. Much of that time for Djokovic was spent fending off his opponent’s variety.

“It’s impossible to make tactics. [There are] no tactics,” Ivanisevic said. “Fifteen minutes, best returner in the world, he does not touch his serve. You get the chance, then he breaks him.”

Djokovic did not break Kyrgios’ serve in their first two ATP Head2Head meetings, but he converted two of his four opportunities on Sunday. That opportunistic play proved critical in the Serbian earning his seventh title at The Championships.

“The key point was to concentrate on what Novak has to do, and just to stick to those little things to be ready for the big serves, for the big second-serve winners,” Ivanisevic added.

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Kyrgios: ‘I Was Right There’ With Djokovic

  • Posted: Jul 10, 2022

Kyrgios: ‘I Was Right There’ With Djokovic

Kyrgios reached his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon

Nick Kyrgios believes he has the game to challenge for the biggest titles in the future as he looks to take confidence from his run to his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon.

The Australian won the first set against Novak Djokovic Sunday, before the Serbian turned the tables to clinch his seventh crown at The Championships on Centre Court.

“My level is right there. I feel like you look at what Novak has done to some other opponents, it’s not a good feeling. But I’m right there,” Kyrgios said in his post-match press conference. “I’m not behind the eight ball at all. I played a Slam final against one of the greatest of all time, and I was right there.

“[I will take] confidence. It was a hell of an occasion… I came out in the first set and I looked like I was the one who had played in a lot of finals. I thought I dealt with the pressure pretty well.”

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Djokovic Defeats Kyrgios For Seventh Wimbledon Title

The Australian, who felt he ‘belonged’ on the biggest stage during his defeat against the Serbian, leaves London holding a 12-3 record on grass in 2022.

Kyrgios, who won the Australian Open men’s doubles title with Thanasi Kokkinakis in January, believes his performances on the lawns in London have further signified the belief that he is moving in the right direction.

“[I] feel like my fire’s been lit this whole year. I’ve obviously met a lot of amazing people this year who have just given me extra motivation,” Kyrgios said. “To find people that have my back, that I just love being around, and they just want to push me to be a better person and to be a better tennis player. They realise that I’m immensely talented and feel [I have] a lot more to do in this sport.”

Read More From The Final
Brain Game: The Moment Djokovic Flipped The Final Against Kyrgios
Djokovic: ‘I Don’t Take Any Wins For Granted’
Ivanisevic Praises Djokovic’s Win, Calls Kyrgios ‘Tennis Genius’

The 27-year-old had taken a 2-0 ATP Head2Head series lead into his match against Djokovic, having not dropped a set across their previous meetings.

However, Sunday’s encounter was their first at a major, a stage Djokovic has tasted so much success at. The top seed was competing in a record 32nd Grand Slam final, while Kyrgios was making his maiden major championship match appearance.

The World No. 40 feels that Djokovic’s experience showed in the key moments, with the Serbian capturing his 21st Grand Slam title.

“I felt like he just has so much experience to draw to. He’s won the tournament four times in a row. When you win an event that much, when you’ve been in those situations, it’s unbelievable,” Kyrgios said. “You can tell yourself you’ve been here before. The confidence and the belief in yourself, that only comes with achievement or something that he’s achieved like that many times. I can only imagine how confident he feels every day, especially at Wimbledon, walking around.”

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After taking the first set, Kyrgios was unable to push on and clinch his first major title. However, the Australian was happy with the level he showed.

“I thought I handled myself well today. I came out there and I did what I had to do tactically to give myself a chance. I served amazing I thought today, and he was just able to put so many balls in play,” Kyrgios said. “I just came up short, and I’m happy with that.”

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