Wimbledon: Djokovic eyes 21st major title; will Kyrgios stop him?
Former world number one Novak Djokovic will take on Nick Kyrgios in the 2022 Wimbledon final. The Serbian reached a record-breaking 32nd Grand Slam and eighth Wimbledon final after defeating Cameron Norrie. Djokovic is in pursuit of winning his 21st Grand Slam title. Meanwhile, Kyrgios received a walkover in the semi-final after Spanish ace Rafael Nadal opted out with an abdominal injury.
With a win over Norrie, Djokovic reached his 32nd Grand Slam final. He is the first man to reach as many major finals in the Open Era. Djokovic surpassed Roger Federer (31) on the list. Earlier in the tournament, Djokovic overcame Kwon Soon-woo (first round), Thanasi Kokkinakis (second round), Miomir Kecmanovic (third round), Tim van Rijthoven (fourth round), and Jannik Sinner (quarter-final).
Kyrgios has become the first Australian man to qualify for Wimbledon final since Mark Philippoussis in 2003. The Australian claimed a first-round win over Britain's Paul Jubb in five sets. He defeated Filip Krajinovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Brandon Nakashima, and Cristian Garin thereafter. Kyrgios qualified for his maiden Grand Slam final, with Nadal pulling out ahead of the semi-final.
Djokovic won his third consecutive Wimbledon crown in 2021 and a sixth overall. Besides winning the tournament in 2018, 2019, and 2021, he was crowned champion in 2011, 2014, and 2015. He now has the third-most Wimbledon titles after Roger Federer (8), Pete Sampras (7), and William Renshaw (7). Djokovic could emulate Sampras and Renshaw this time.
In 2021, Djokovic became the fourth man in the Open Era to win three consecutive Wimbledon titles after Federer, Bjorn Borg, and Sampras. The Serbian clinched three consecutive major titles for the third time. And now, Djokovic has become the sixth man in the Open Era to reach four consecutive Wimbledon finals after Borg, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Sampras, and Federer.
As per Opta, Djokovic has become the third man (Open Era) to reach the Wimbledon final after turning 35, after Ken Rosewall (1970 and 1974) and Federer (2017 and 2019). Interestingly, Djokovic has won 11 of his last 13 major matches after losing the first set. His only defeats in this regard came against Daniil Medvedev (2021 US Open) and Nadal (2022 French Open).
In the final, Kyrgios will attempt to beat Djokovic, who has a win-loss record of 85-10 at The Championships. It is to note that the former had not gone beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon since 2015 before the ongoing tournament. He won his 20th match at the grass-court Slam after beating Garin. Notably, Kyrgios has beaten Djokovic twice in as many matches.
Although Nadal won the Australian Open and French Open this year, Djokovic entered Wimbledon as the favorite. Last year, the latter clinched a record-equaling 20th Grand Slam title after beating Matteo Berrettini in the Wimbledon final. Djokovic is now unbeaten in 27 matches at Wimbledon. He last lost a match in 2017 when Tomas Berdych beat him in the quarter-final.