Novak Djokovic wins fourth Wimbledon title: Former world number one beats Kevin Anderson 6-2 6-2 7-6 to win first Grand Slam title in over two years

Leye Aduloju in Wimbledon 16 Jul 2018
  • Novak Djokovic defeated Kevin Anderson 6-2 6-2 7-6 to win fourth Wimbledon title
  • Djokovic wins first Grand Slam title since 2016 French Open
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Wimbledon at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

Novak Djokovic claimed his fourth Wimbledon title after a 6-2 6-2 7-6 victory over Kevin Anderson on Sunday. 

Djokovic won his first Grand Slam title since the 2016 French Open to moved up to 13 Grand Slam titles, overtaking Roy Emerson on the all-time list of Grand Slam winners. Only Roger Federer (20), Rafael Nadal (17) and Pete Sampras (14) have more major titles than the great Serbian. 

Victory in London confirmed a return to form for the Serbian, who had had two torrid years battling with loss of form and injuries. The 31-year-old, who missed the second half of last season because of an elbow injury, underwent minor surgery after the 2018 Australian Open, and after stuttering in the initial phase of his comeback, he has firmly rediscovered his feet on grass. 
“It was a long journey, especially considering that elbow injury that took me out from the tour for six months,” said Djokovic. “When I started training again, [when I] came back on the tour and played in Australia, I played with the pain… It took me several months really to regain the confidence, go back to basics, start to hit as many balls on the practice court as possible so I could feel comfortable playing at a high level”.

The first signs of a resurgence emerged towards the conclusion of the clay-court season, when he reached his first semi-final of the year in Rome, and a quarter final at Roland Garros, and he has stepped it up on grass, reaching the Eastbourne final, and now claiming the prestigious Wimbledon crown. 

Djokovic and Anderson had got through two lengthy semi-finals- the longest in Wimbledon history, and Anderson, perhaps feeling the effects of his six-and a-half-hour marathon against John Isner, and a bit of nerves in his first Wimbledon final, was very slow off the blocks. 

The forehand in particular misfired at the start- an error off that wing offering Djokovic the first break point of the match in the opening game. Anderson donated the break of serve via a double fault in what was the worst possible start for the underdog.

Djokovic broke again to establish a 4-1 lead, off a dipping backhand rifled onto Anderson's feet, and the set was done after 29 minutes when Anderson for the umpteenth time in the set, faltered on the forehand wing. 

Apart from his semi-final marathon against Isner, Anderson had also needed five sets against Roger Federer in the quarter finals, and four grueling sets against Gael Monfils in the fourth round. It was therefore not surprising that he required some medical attention after the opening set, with the trainer working on his elbow-upper arm region. 

Just like he had done in the first set, Anderson dropped his serve in the first game of the second set, and the set effectively disappeared when he got broken again in the fifth game, predictably, off a forehand error. 

While the set drifted away, Anderson at least became more competitive, getting more meaningful returns into play, playing with more purpose and conviction off the ground, and most importantly, making more use of the forecourt, but Djokovic, with his stealth-like defence would not budge, absorbing Anderson's best shots, and sending them back with interest. 

Some superb returning brought up Anderson's first break point of the match as Djokovic served for the set at 5-2, but the Serbian fended off that moment of danger before establishing a two-set lead. 

Anderson had famously come back from a two-set deficit to defeat Roger Federer in the quarter finals, but the chances of that happening again on Sunday were very remote. Judging by his body language though, and his constant "come ons", the South African never stopped believing, and he began a seemingly impossible road to recovery by holding in opening game of the second set, something he hadn't managed in the previous sets. 

Anderson was holding fairly comfortably; and was beginning to ask more questions on Djokovic's serve. A lucky net cord gave him a break point at 4-3, but he sent a backhand long to pass up the opportunity. The South African had further opportunities as a panicky Djokovic served to stay in the set at 4-5, but he could not convert either of two set points, both brought up by Djokovic double faults, as Djokovic, just as he had done against Rafael Nadal in his epic semi-final victory, raised his game at the most critical period to hang on to his serve and stay in the set. 

Anderson was relentless in his pursuit of the third set, and he was at it again in Djokovic's next service game, carving out two more set points at 15-40, and another at 40-Ad but Djokovic's first serve made a timely reappearance to get him out of trouble. A backhand pass and an ace sealed the game for the former world number one. 

Djokovic dominated the ensuing tie break- quickly gaining two mini breaks en route a 6-2 lead, and there was no coming back from there for Anderson. The South African saved the first match point with an overhead, but a forehand return error (what else?!) confirmed Djokovic as the four-time Wimbledon champion.

Djokovic's son, Stefan was the Serbian's box as he gave his champion's speech in one of the most memorable moments of The Championships.

“I did not expect to be back in the top shape already here in Wimbledon so quickly,” said Djokovic. “If you asked me after Roland Garros, I would probably maybe doubt that. At the same time there is a part of me that always believes in my own abilities, believes in my own quality of tennis. Whenever I come to the tournament and a Grand Slam, especially, I believe I can have a good opportunity to fight for the trophy.”

The former world number one, who began the tournament outside the top 20, will check back into the top 10 on Monday by virtue of his Wimbledon triumph, as he continues to retrace a route back to the top of a sport which he once ruled with fierce authority and doggedness, the sort of which was on display through the Wimbledon fortnight. 

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Novak Djokovic wins fourth Wimbledon title: Former world number one beats Kevin Anderson 6-2 6-2 7-6 to win first Grand Slam title in over two years

Novak Djokovic defeated Kevin Anderson in straight sets to win his fourth Wimbledon title.

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