Nick Kyrgios lost the Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic on Centre Court 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-3); the Australian played a composed first set before having interference from the crowd later in the contest and regularly shouting up at his family and loved ones in the player box
Last Updated: 10/07/22 10:42pm
Nick Kyrgios believes he “belonged” in the Wimbledon final after losing to Novak Djokovic in four sets on Centre Court.
The Australian maverick’s run to the final has been littered with controversy, and there were times when he looked set to go into full meltdown mode against Djokovic.
But despite a code violation for swearing – which earned him a £3,300 fine, taking his tournament total to £15,000 in fines – he recovered his composure and Djokovic had to work as hard as he has all fortnight for a 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-3) victory on Centre Court.
Kyrgios said: “I felt like, you know, to get to the final, there’s always a bit of anxiety of how it’s going to play out, if you feel worthy to be there. I felt like the trophy was definitely attainable today.
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“I played a hell of a first set and put myself in a position to take a stranglehold of the match.
“My level is right there. I feel like you look at what Novak has done to some other opponents, and it’s not a good feeling.
“But I’m right there. I’m not behind the eight ball at all. I played a Slam final against one of the greatest of all time, and I was right there.
“It was a hell of an occasion. People were probably expecting me to have something happen today. But I came out in the first set and I looked like I was the one who had played in a lot of finals. I thought I dealt with the pressure pretty well.
“I felt like I belonged, to be honest. I’ve played big finals before. My record in finals is pretty good. I’ve played some very good players in finals.
“I felt like he just has so much experience to draw on. Look, he’s won the tournament I don’t know how many times now, four times in a row.
“I’ve got that under my belt now, a Wimbledon finalist. I can kind of draw from experience.
“I felt like I belonged, though. I feel like my game, my level has always been there. I feel like I’ve kind of put it together a little bit this couple of weeks.”
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Kyrgios: Drunk fan didn’t cost me a game
After Kyrgios took the first set, Djokovic then increased his level and as a few mistakes came off Kyrgios’ racket, he became increasingly frustrated by the reaction from his family and friends in his Player Box, regularly shouting up at them.
Kyrgios then had a key service game disrupted by a member of the crowd. The Australian was clearly upset and had a lengthy conversation with the chair umpire – Renaud Lichtenstein at the change of ends.
“She’s distracting me when I’m serving. In a Wimbledon final, there is no bigger occasion,” Kyrgios said. “You didn’t believe me and then she did it again and it nearly cost me the game.
“Why is she still here? She’s drunk out of her mind in the first row, speaking to me in the middle of the game. What’s acceptable?”
Lichtenstein agreed that it was unacceptable and asked Kyrgios to point her out in order for the situation to be dealt with.
“I know exactly which one it is. It’s the one in the dress, the one that looks like she’s had 700 drinks, bro.”
After the final, Kyrgios spoke to the media about the fan and the impact it had on him.
“I wouldn’t say she cost me the game,” the Australian said. “I’m playing the Wimbledon final against probably one of the best players of all time. I don’t need someone absolutely smashed talking to me point in, point out. Do you know what I mean?
“I’m all for having a great time. Like speaking between first and second serves to me, you know. I mean, look, I’ve been on a couple nights out in my life,” he said with a small smile. “And I knew that she had too many.
“I feel like, I told the umpire, I was like, ‘She’s speaking to me a lot, and she’s drunk. What are you going to do about it?’ He was like, ‘I didn’t know she was drunk’.
“Then she continued. And, not just me. I feel like that’s when you got to maybe give her a water or take her out.”
Kyrgios also reflected on his opponent, who is now a seven-time Wimbledon champion, and highlighted what he thought Djokovic delivered on Centre Court during the final.
“In big moments, it just felt like he was never rattled. I feel like that’s his greatest strength, he just never looks rattled. He just looks completely within himself the whole time.”
The Australian was later asked whether Djokovic’s attribute in terms of that composure, was something he’d look to emulate and improve on his own game?
“I think the other 126 players in the draw could improve their composure,” he said.
“But at times out there, obviously, I was getting angry a bit because I just looked at it as, you win this tournament, you become the tennis immortal, I feel. It was just an opportunity for me that people work their entire life for.
“I put myself in a position to win the first set. Things started to get rocky a bit. He was just solid. Then I win that fourth set and who knows.
“I mean, yeah, I can obviously improve many things in my game, not just composure. My forehand return needs to improve. I’ve been working on that a lot. Can always get stronger. Can always get fitter. I feel like that was a bit of a dig, but I feel like everyone in the draw can improve something.”