On Sunday July 15, Novak Djokovic claimed his fourth Wimbledon title, coming through comfortably against South African Kevin Anderson 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7-3).
This win concludes Djokovic’s first major since the French Open in 2016, as well as returning to the top ten in the world rankings after struggling with injuries over the recent years.
Seeded 12th at the Championships, the former world number one’s first real test came in the third round against Briton Kyle Edmund, whom he had lost to two months previously at the Barcelona Open.
A slow start by the Serb meant that Edmund was able to showcase his talent as he went on to win the first set 6-4. Despite the bias of the home crowd making life difficult for Djokovic, he played tennis worthy of a top ten player to take the match 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4.
After victories against rising star Karen Khachanov and top-20 player Kei Nishikori, the semi-final saw a battle between two of the sport’s main rivals, Djokovic against Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
After a long wait for both players and fans alike due to the marathon match played between big servers Anderson and American John Isner, the pair stepped out under the bright lights of Centre Court to loud applause from the crowd.
Despite Djokovic winning the first set 6-4, Nadal was not going to go down without a fight. The Spaniard quickly levelled the match at one set all, claiming the second set 6-3. The third set proved to be of the highest quality, with both men playing some of their best tennis. With only a couple of points separating them, Djokovic won the third set tiebreak 11-9.
Given the curfew of 11pm, this proved to be perfect timing – the match would resume on Saturday with Djokovic enjoying the slight advantage of being a set up.
The second half of the match resumed on Saturday afternoon under a closed roof. Despite not being overjoyed at the prospect of playing indoors at an outside event, Nadal made the most of his opportunities as he levelled the match again at two sets all.
In the fifth and final set, there proved to be little separating the two players, with their passion to win evident. With both continuing to hold serve, it was unclear who would break first. In the end, it was Djokovic who found the breakthrough as he progressed to the Wimbledon final where he would face Kevin Anderson.
Having faced two marathon matches in the space of a couple weeks (against Roger Federer and Isner), it is not surprising that Anderson struggled with his movement in the first couple of sets. Despite a much closer third set which went all the way to a tiebreak, it appeared to be too little too late for the South African, as Djokovic claimed his fourth Wimbledon and thirteenth Grand Slam title.
In an emotional post-match interview, Djokovic payed tribute to his son, Stefan Djokovic. Despite being too young to watch the match at three years old, he was there to watch his father lift the trophy in front of a packed Centre Court crowd.
Talking to Sue Barker directly after the match Djokovic said:
For the first time in my life, I have someone screaming “Daddy” and it’s a little boy right there…I’m very emotional for him being there, and my wife obviously and my whole team.
Despite not winning a Grand Slam title since the French Open in 2016, it appears that Djokovic is moving in the right direction. As he returns to the top ten in rankings, it is clear that the former world number one has not grown tired of winning just yet.
On the ladies side of things, Angelique Kerber defeated seven-time champion Serena Williams to claim the trophy for the first time. Wimbledon marked Williams’ fourth tournament since giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, just 10 months prior.