Wimbledon 2022 comes to a close on Sunday afternoon when the men’s singles final takes place as Novak Djokovic looks to successfully defend his title when he goes up against the unseeded but dangerous Nick Kyrgios.
Djokovic is actually looking for a fourth straight title on this famous Centre Court while Nick Kyrgios is looking for a maiden singles Grand Slam title in his first final but he has already put a doubles major on his trophy cabinet.
Days like this are nothing new to Novak Djokovic. He’ll be competing in Grand Slam final number 32 in this match and having already won 20 of the previous 31 finals he has been in he’ll know exactly what the day is all about and how to handle himself to get the best performance he can give. He will also know what a Wimbledon final is all about and that should give him plenty of confidence to take into this deciding match with him.
One thing that might not give him confidence is the form he has shown in this tournament, certainly the longer it has gone on. He looked a million dollars up to the quarter final but then for two sets in both the quarter final and the semi-final he was flat as a pancake and had to rely on opponents visibly dropping their level to get back into the matches. I’m not sure starting poorly here is a recipe for success for the Serbian.
Even by the standards of Nick Kyrgios this has been a crazy tournament. He has twice gone to five sets against inferior opponents and then he has seen off one of the best players in the world in dramatic circumstances while also being the beneficiary of another dropping out injured before playing him. Welcome to the world of Nick Kyrgios! I don’t think it is a surprise that Kyrgios is in this final, he has a grass court game that holds up to anything in the game right now, but it is a surprise that since the Tsitipas match he has held himself together.
Much is made of two things about Kyrgios – his antics on the court and his big serve but nobody seems to recognise the rest of his game which in this tournament has included hitting a number of winners and often outplaying the opposition. He has generally fared better in this event when he has been the underdog so you sense that the tag he carries into this final will sit very nicely on his shoulders. He doesn’t have anything to lose or have a free hit but you sense he’ll play with some freedom.
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These two have met twice in the past. Both meetings were five years ago and on hard courts but Nick Kyrgios won on both occasions and didn’t drop a set in the process. They met in the quarter finals of Acapulco in 2017 and the last 16 of Indian Wells the same year and Kyrgios came through both in tight sets. This will be their biggest meeting, the first time they have played on grass and the first time they have been across the net from each other in a final.
This feels like it could be an excellent final, one which will be must watch viewing and one which is sure to be full of emotion and energy and when all is said and done I think the underdog has a shot here. Nick Kyrgios goes into this final knowing that he leads 2-0 in the head-to-head between the two and he’ll also know that Djokovic didn’t break his serve in either of those matches. He’ll also be fresh as a daisy having not played since Wednesday and even then he was only on court for 2hr15.
Novak Djokovic hasn’t played well in the early stages of his last two matches and if he starts slowly here he might not reel in a Kyrgios who will gain confidence if he gets ahead. Usually in this situation we would worry about nerves for the Australian on the biggest day of his career but he doesn’t strike me as the nervous type and the fact he has known he is in this final for three days tells me he’ll be prepared physically and mentally. Jannik Sinner should have beaten Djokovic but faded the longer it went on and couldn’t get any cheap points behind his serve. Kyrgios won’t have that problem. He can serve Djokovic off the court and at 10/3 I think he’s value to win this match.
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