Novak Djokovic defeated Kevin Anderson in straight sets to clinch the 2018 Wimbledon title. The 12th seed won 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7-3) to claim his 13th Grand Slam – his first major since the 2016 French Open.
The 31-year old Serb controlled the match to win the opening set in 29 minutes. He then saw off five set points in the third set and dominated the tie-break to seal victory.
“I had many moments of doubt, I didn’t know if could come back to this level to compete,” said Djokovic.
“There is no better place to make a comeback, it’s a sacred place for world of tennis, it’s very special.”
He is now fourth on the all-time list of Grand Slam men’s singles titles, moving clear of Roy Emerson. He is also closing the gap to Roger Federer (20), Rafael Nadal (17) and Pete Sampras (14).
The former world number one will move back into the top 10 when the latest rankings are released on Monday.
Djokovic used to rule the men’s game, holding the number one ranking for 223 weeks and a career Grand Slam. But soon, it became too good to last.
He lost to Sam Querrey in the third round of Wimbledon in 2016 and his form subsequently tailed off.
Fitness also became an issue, taking two spells away from the ATP Tour because of an elbow injury, leading to him dropping out of the world’s top 20 earlier this year for the first time since 2006.
Now he is back among the world’s elite after a wonderful Wimbledon.
Djokovic broke serve twice in each of the opening two sets, dismantling 6ft 8in Anderson’s service game and grinding him down in the rallies.
Anderson rarely ventured forward and offered little variation – until the third set at least – but Djokovic nullified the increased threat to win in two hours and 18 minutes.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the match.
— Paul Schofield (@schofey27) July 15, 2018
— Nicole Hardy (@NicHardy) July 15, 2018
— Chris Williams (@vvills) July 15, 2018
— Wayne Roberts (@mewtkuga) July 15, 2018
— Firhan Malik (@FirhanM87) July 15, 2018
Nice of Anderson to get this over and done with before the World Cup final. Very thoughtful of him. #WimbledonFinal
— Marva (@MarvaMSK) July 15, 2018
— M (@nemonihi) July 15, 2018
— DragcentricDeb (@DragcentricDeb) July 15, 2018
— Valerija Vojnovic (@ValValerija) July 15, 2018
— Ian (@iShainX) July 15, 2018