Novak Djokovic claimed a fourth Wimbledon title in ruthless fashion as he beat giant South African Kevin Anderson 6-2 6-2 7-6(3) on a sweltering Centre Court yesterday.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a forehand against Rafael Nadal of Spain during a Wimbledon semifinal match in London on July 14, 2018. Djokovic won 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(9), 3-6, 10-8. — Kyodo
After the monumental drama provided by both men’s semi-finals, the two longest in Wimbledon history, the showpiece proved something of an anti-climax as Djokovic ended a two-year Grand Slam title drought.
Anderson, bidding to become the first South African to win the men’s title, had spent 21 hours on court to reach his first Wimbledon final and his tank appeared to be empty in the opening two sets as a clinical Djokovic dominated.
Djokovic, who had been required to finish his epic semi-final with Rafael Nadal on Saturday, lost some intensity at times in the third set and saved five set points as Anderson hinted at an improbable comeback.
But he forged ahead in the tiebreak and could celebrate a 13th Grand Slam title when Anderson netted a return.
Djokovic, who had suffered a dip in form and fitness in the past two years and was seeded only 12th for the championships, made only 13 unforced errors in the final as he offered more evidence that he is back to his best.
"It feels amazing because for the first time in my life I have someone screaming ’Daddy Daddy’," Djokovic said on court as he cradled the trophy with son Stefan having joined the rest of his family and entourage.
"This was my first Grand Slam final for a couple of years and there is no better place to make a comeback.
"Congratulations to Kevin, he has had an incredible run."
In the women’s singles final, Angelique Kerber ripped up the script when she stunned Serena Williams 6-3 6-3 to win her first Wimbledon title on Saturday.
The 11th seed took advantage of an error-strewn performance by the seven-times champion to become the first German woman to win the title since Steffi Graf in 1996.
American great Williams, playing in only her fourth tournament since becoming a mother last September, had been looking to match Margaret Court’s record 24 Grand Slam titles.
She was also seeking to become the first mother to win Wimbledon since Australian Evonne Goolagong in 1980.
The 36-year-old, unbeaten at the All England Club since 2014, had begun to look unstoppable during the fortnight and had dropped only one set in reaching her 10th Wimbledon final.
She had not faced anyone with the pedigree of the German though and was outmanoeuvred in the first set as Kerber’s dogged defence forced too many errors.
Williams dropped serve three times in the opening set and although she tried to fire herself up in the second she played a loose game at 2-3 and Kerber broke with a running pass.
Serving for the match, Kerber looked nervous as Williams got it back to 30-30 but she claimed victory when Williams netted, tumbling to the dusty baseline in relief before being warmly embraced by her opponent.
Her win, revenge for a 2016 defeat in the final by Williams, snapped the American’s 20-match winning run at Wimbledon. — REUTERS