For the Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic, the last year has been one of trump and failure. After losing in the U.S. Open final in devastating fashion in 2021, his hopes of a Calendar Slam were crushed. His dreams were then crushed again as he fell from the number one spot in the World Rankings and again when he lost to Rafael Nadal in the French Open, only to see Nadal claim glory at Garros once more.

This Sunday, however, Djokovic prevailed over Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final to win his 21st Grand Slam. In front of a star-studded and full crowd at the All England Club, Djokovic beat Kyrgios 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3) to capture the elusive title. “I lost words for what this tournament, what this trophy means to me,” Djokovic said following his victory. “It always has been, and will be, the most special tournament in my heart, the one that motivated me to start playing tennis.”

Kyrgios was playing in his first Grand Slam final following his controversial yet attention-grabbing run at Wimbledon. The Aussie star has garnered a reputation as being one of the most electrifying and most-hated stars in recent memory, and he certainly put up a fight against the more-experienced Djokovic. Krygios quickly become unraveled during the match, growing more frustrated as the Serbian figured him out.

“He’s just really composed,” Kyrgios said. “It’s weird, I felt like he didn’t do anything amazing today. He returned obviously the way he returns. I feel like he’s just a great returner. But he was just so composed. That’s what I was just thinking to myself. 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.”

Djokovic said that this win was an emotional one for him due to the turmoil that he had been facing during his bad run of form. “Certainly this year has not been the same like last years,” he said. “It has started the way it has started and it has affected me, definitely, in the first several months of the year. I was not feeling great generally. I mean, mentally, emotionally, I was not at a good place.”

There is no word about Djokovic’s status for August’s U.S. Open, though the Serbian says that he hoped COVID restrictions would be eased or that he would be granted an exemption. For now, the star says that he will take a break to relax. “I am on vacation,” Djokovic said. “Whether or not I’m playing any tournament soon, I’ll definitely be resting for the next couple weeks because it has been quite an exhausting and demanding period for me the last few months. A lot of tennis, which I was very happy about.”

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