Novak Djokovic looks to win his fourth straight Wimbledon on Sunday afternoon, with a fourth different opponent aiming to deny him the trophy. After Kevin Anderson, Roger Federer and Matteo Berrettini all failed to do so, it is the turn of first time slam-finalist Nick Kyrgios. It looked like the time had passed for the Australian to find himself at this stage but between some great tennis and luck, he is playing in a singles final on the second Sunday.
The Aussie’s route to the final has been anything but boring. Two of his first four matches went the distance while his impressive win over Stefanos Tsitsipas was overshadowed by the hostilities on court between the two. He dealt with Christian Garin fairly easily in the quarter finals and would have had a great chance in the semis against Rafael Nadal before injury led to him getting a walkover. “It’s not the way I wanted to get to the final. As a competitor, I really did want that match. It was obviously something that as soon as I beat Garin, Rafa was a high possibility, someone I’ve had so many good battles with before. We’ve both taken a win against each other at this tournament. I really did want to see how the third chapter was going to go,” Kyrgios said.
Djokovic hasn’t steamrollered his draw in the way many expected but he has shown he can definitely step up a level or two when needed as seen in his last two wins. After coming from two sets down against Jannik Sinner, he came from one down against Cameron Norrie to win 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4. It was not his best performance but once he broke in the second, it felt like the match was only going one way. . I was a bit tight at the start of the match, not swinging through the ball as smoothly as I would have liked to and Cameron was dominating the play,” Djokovic added. “I felt that I got lucky in the second set to break his serve. At 4-3, he missed a couple of put-aways and gifted me that game and I felt from that game momentum shifted a little bit.”
Along with Marat Safin and Jiri Vesely, Kyrgios is one of three players who have beat Djokovic more than once and remain unbeaten against the top seed. Both of those wins came during the North American hard court swing in 2017 where he once more promised so much before failing to build it over the weeks and months ahead. Many factors are in his favour – he has three days rest as opposed to Djokovic’s two and he will have the crowd with him to some extent – or at least until the likely drama starts.
What Djokovic has shown during his run is that when the going gets tough, he definitely has another level he can move to to put things out of doubt. He will be more than happy to drag this one out, especially against an opponent whose stamina has been called into question on a number of occasions. While it is very possible to win a set or two against Djokovic, it incredibly difficult to get over the line, as his lengthy winning streak on the slower grass of Wimbledon shows.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in four sets