Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic, one of them will win Wimbledon glory in 2022. Photo: Glyn KIRK and SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP.
Novak Djokovic, number three in the world, will seek his seventh title at Wimbledon on Sunday, and the fourth in a row since 2018, in a potentially explosive final where he will have to overcome the dangerous game and the usual tricks of controversial Nick Kyrgios.
The reigning champion and controversial world number 40 will jump at Wimbledon Center Court at 10am, airing on ESPN and Star +.
“One thing is for sure, there will be emotional fireworks,” said the Serbian as he reached his 32nd Grand Slam final and eighth at Wimbledon. Of the precedents, he only lost in 2013, against the Scottish Andy Murray, supported by the British public.
The big grass tournament didn’t take place in 2020 due to the pandemic and Djokovic hasn’t lost at the All England Club in London since falling in the quarter-finals in 2017.
Novak Djokovic, in one of his training sessions before the final. Photo: REUTERS / Toby Melville.
Adding four consecutive Wimbledons, the Serbian champion seeks to join the exclusive club formed by Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. And get his 21st Grand Slam title, chasing Rafa Nadal who after winning the Australian Open this year and his 14th Roland Garros already has 22 major trophies.
This will also be the last major tournament of the year for Djokovic, as without being vaccinated against covid-19 he will not be able to travel to the United States to play the US Open.
But to win him he has to put out the fire of the controversial Australian, great at racketeering and often irritating for his behavior.
Djokovic and Kyrgios only met twice, in the quarter-finals of the Acapulco tournament in 2017 and three weeks later in the round of 16 in Indian Wells. In both the Australian caustic won in rocky matches.
“I have never won a set from him before. I hope this time is different. I will play another final at Wimbledon, I hope the experience works in my favor,” the Serb said on Friday.
Nick Kyrgios spent the semifinal without playing after Nadal’s injury, and has been training in recent days to keep up with the pace of the competition. Photo: REUTERS / Toby Melville.
Kyrgios, 40th tennis player in the world, who has never played a Grand Slam final, automatically advanced to the final when Nadal announced Thursday that he would be retiring due to an abdominal injury, ending his dream of adding victories in the four. main tournaments of the same year.
The 27-year-old Australian arrives more rested but with less training.
In recent days, he admitted that excitement kept him from sleeping well and that he planned to do a hard workout before the final to make up for the lack of a match.
Meanwhile, on Saturday he posted a message on social media recalling his journey from an overweight boy playing on Canberra’s crumbling municipal tennis courts.
“I think it’s a strong message for any guy who doubts himself. They just have to move on. Look at that picture, I literally look like Manny from ‘Modern Family’,” he wrote, referring to the hit American TV series.
“I think it’s honestly an inspiration to any guy who’s been sidelined or surrounded by negative headlines or shot down from a lot of different angles,” he added.
Kyrgios has been a subject of controversy for years.
Conflict subscriber Nick Kyrgios is looking for the biggest victory of his career. Photo: EFE / EPA / RAY ACEVEDO.
In addition to refusing to have a manager and not participating in many of the tournaments, he has given a lot to talk about his behavior on the pitch.
In the third round of Wimbledon he starred in a very tense match against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost his temper due to his “circus” and ended up throwing a ball in the direction of the audience and another from the wall.
Both players were cautioned and fined for their behavior.
Tsitsipas branded him a “bully” with “a devilish side”, but the Aussie has shown a more measured attitude ever since.
And despite the fines and controversy, he showed a very solid game.
Nick Kyrgios, the bad boy of the ATP circuit, had a tough encounter with Tsitsipas in this edition of Wimbledon. Photo: AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth.
Former champion John McEnroe, controversial player in his youth and now TV commentator, said he was delighted with Kyrgios’ show.
“He’s professional, I love him. He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever seen, on and off the track,” the American told the BBC.
But if he wins on Sunday, Kyrgios will be one of Wimbledon’s most controversial champions.