Wimbledon: Where the grass is greenest for Novak Djokovic | Tennis News

Wimbledon: Where the grass is greenest for Novak Djokovic | Tennis News

Wimbledon has always come at an important stage of my life and career, says the champion
LONDON: Nick Kyrgios looked across the net after he won the opening set of Sunday’s Wimbledon final. It was business as usual for Novak Djokovic down the other end. The title clash had only just begun, Kyrgios still had Mount Everest to scale.
“In best-of-five sets against these guys- Novak and Nadal, even Federer, you win the first set, you still have to climb Mount Everest to get it done,” said Kyrgios, who went into the final with a 2-0 advantage in head-to-head counts. “The previous two encounters were best-of-three sets. I won the first set, I was right on top of him.”

Kyrgios, ridiculously gifted, whose tennis is a delightful mix of power and poetry, aggression and artistry, the roll of thunder and the precision of timing, is Djokovic’s antonym as a competitor. The mercurial disruptor and tennis’ mentalist.
At the start of 2022 Djokovic was tipped to run with the majors, especially Melbourne Park where he has won nine titles. He was coming into the season after winning 27 straight Grand Slam matches, only falling short in his last outing in New York.

The Serbian’s vaccine stand, however, saw him deported from Melbourne in January, sending his season into an orchestrated tailspin.
Goran Ivanisevic, who won at SW19 as a wildcard in 2001, is a towering presence in the Djokovic box. “This (Australia) was a huge thing. We all expected, after a couple of weeks, okay, forget about Australia, let’s go back and practice. It’s not happening like this. ” Ivanisevic said, adding, “People never come back to tennis or to anything after something like this. ” Djokovic returned to the Tour in Dubai in February, looking like a shadow of himself.


In Pics: Novak Djokovic wins seventh Wimbledon title and 21st Grand Slam

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<p>Novak Djokovic won a seventh Wimbledon title and 21st Grand Slam crown on Sunday with a four-set triumph over Nick Kyrgios, whose challenge unravelled in frustration after a blistering start. (Getty Images)</p>

“In the first several months of the year I was not feeling great – mentally and emotionally I was not at a good place,” the 35-year-old said. “I wanted to play, but at the same time, when I went out on the court I felt so much pressure and emotions happening.”
“Once I left Australia, I left that behind me,” Djokovic said. “I was ready to move on, but it wasn’t easy to close that chapter because I had the media, all of you guys, reminding me of that. Many (other) people, the travel, some unpleasant situations as well, the same movie that I was unfortunately part of in Australia was replaying. That caused turbulence inside of me. I needed time to weather the storm.”
“The game was there. I know what my qualities are, what my tennis is,” Djokovic came back much like does in a rally. “It’s just all these things off the court that were causing so much distraction and pressure that I had to deal with, not just myself but people around me.”
“It’s not one of these things you can switch off and pretend that it’s not happening,” the Serb finished.

On his fairy-tale stage, that most celebrated patch of grass in southwest London, Djokovic put on his strongest show yet. The Wimbledon title, that has taken his Grand Slam tally to 21, one behind Rafael Nadal‘s record haul, and in those three hours on Centre Court he turned on a light, eclipsing a dark space.
Djokovic, who won his first title of the year in Rome, in only his fifth tournament, said. “I liked my chance coming into Wimbledon. I’m very inspired to play my best tennis in London.”
“Wimbledon has always come at an important stage of my life and my career,” Djokovic said. “In 2018 when I started the year with elbow surgery, this was the first Slam that I won, it served as a springboard for the US Open win and later the 2019 Australian Open. It’s not a coincidence that this place has such relevance in my life and career. Considering what I’ve been through this year, it adds more value and significance.”
Djokovic, whose ranking has dropped to No. 7 this week, will dip further if he’s unable to play the US Open as he remains vaccinated. The Serb will take the next couple of weeks off to rest and recover and in the meantime is hoping for some good news from the United States that would allow him to play the American hard-court swing.
“If that doesn’t happen, then I have to see what the schedule will look like,” said Djokovic, “I doubt I’ll chase points.” Major titles are a different matter.


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