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Wimbledon 2022: Nick Kyrgios challenge ahead as Djokovic looks to bag 21st Grand Slam win

27-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios will play his first-ever Grand Slam final against the 35-year-old Serbian champion Novak Djokovic. 

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The quest for the Wimbledon 2022 men’s singles title is about to end today, as the former world no.1 Novak Djokovic will face Nick Kyrgios’ challenge in Sunday’s final at the iconic Centre Court in England.

Could this be the year for a new name to be added to the elite list of Wimbledon champions? Or will the 20 time Grand Slam champion get his hands on the 21st major piece of silverware? 

Today, 27-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios will play his first-ever Grand Slam final against the 35-year-old Serbian champion Novak Djokovic. 

The Australian got direct entry into the big final after his semifinalist opponent and 22-time Grand Slam champion, Rafael Nadal, withdrew from the tournament a day before the semifinal due to an abdomen injury he sustained while playing against Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinal match.

The last time an Australian international took part in the men’s Wimbledon singles final was in 2003. 

On the other hand, this will be Novak’s record breaking 32nd Grand slam final appearance out of which the Serb has won 20 titles. Novak has his eyes set on the 21st Slam title. 

However, this year has become memorable for all the wrong reasons, for the former world no.1, as he was deported from the Australian border in January due to the Covid vaccination controversy and missed the chance to compete in the Australian Open. 

After that, a series of poor performances led to his early exit from many minor tournaments and this year’s Roland Garros quarterfinal as well. The Quarterfinal loss eventually led to a dip in his ATP rankings, putting him 3rd on the list now.

So much is at stake for both the finalists at this year’s Wimbledon. Nick Kyrgios wants to prove with that his game is second to none and is worthy of being a champion, despite his controversial antics on and off the court. 

On the other hand, Novak Djokovic wants to win this title to make a loud statement that the decision made by the Australian Government to keep him out of the Australian Open was wrong. Also, this win surely boosts his lost self-esteem, which seemed missing after the January visa battle controversy. 

Head to Head

While both the players toured together since 2012 in major tournaments, they have played each other only twice. Both the encounters came in 2017 only, and on both occasions, Kyrgios had the upper hand as he beat Novak in straight sets. His serve speed and aces became match winning factors. 

But the 6-time Wimbledon champion has a 6-1 record in the finals at the All England Club and when push comes to shove, he will not be going easy on Kyrgios.

In terms of playing style, the grass surface suits Novak’s game more. He’s an attacking all-surface player, but he likes the speed and skid that grass surfaces generate. His agility and attacking forehand helps him to hit flat and with spin. It makes his game more beautiful on a grass surface and not to forget his control on the backhand shots that make him a complete player. 

Meanwhile, Kyrgios also possesses a few tricks under his sleeves. He can pull the trigger as early as possible. His game is very server-centric, and can serve over 220km/h with consistency. He uses his aces to win free points and to set up his forehand to hit flat and with topspin. But unlike Novak, he lacks control over his backhand, which usually turns into unforced errors costing him some valuable points.

It could be a big upset if World rank 40 Nick Kyrgios pulls off a win against Novak, but the odds are stacked against him, as Novak has shown his mental toughness on big occasions many a times.