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It’s Nole and Nick at Wimbledon – Djokovic dismantles Norrie to reach 32nd major final

Novak Djokovic edged out Cameron Norrie 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 on Friday. He’ll face Australian Nick Kyrgios in the final

Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon 2022 Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his semi final match against Cameron Norrie, Wimbledon 2022 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Novak Djokovic’s endless Wimbledon summer continued unabated on Friday as the six-time champion defeated British hope Cameron Norrie, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to reach his record 32nd Grand Slam final. 

It has been 1,821 days since Djokovic suffered his last defeat at SW19, in 2017, when he retired in quarter-finals against Tomas Berdych. Since then the Serb has done nothing but dominate on Wimbledon’s lush grass, and after a shaky first set on Friday, that trend continued. 

Top-seeded Djokovic stretched his winning streak at Wimbledon to 27 consecutive victories and the Serb will bid to tie Pete Sampras and Williams Renshaw for second on Wimbledon’s all-time men’s singles title list, with 7 crowns, when he meets Australia’s Nick Kyrgios on Sunday’s final. 

Djokovic has now won seven straight Wimbledon semi-finals, and owns the fourth-longest men’s singles winning streak in the Open Era, behind only Bjorn Borg (41), Roger Federer (40) and Pete Sampras (31). 

A slow start and a speedy finish

He was tested early against ninth-seeded Norrie, and responded with an all-out attack that completely turned the match midway through the second set. 

“I didn’t start off well,” said Djokovic admitted. “He was the better player for the first set.”

After surrendering three breaks of serve and committing 12 unforced errors in the opening set, the 35-year-old tightened up his game spectacularly and raced through the final three sets. 

“I felt like I got lucky in the second set to break his serve at 4-3,” Djokovic said. “He missed a couple of putaways in the middle of the court and he kind of gifted me that game, since then I felt like momentum shifted a little bit.” 

After dropping 13 points on serve in the opening set, Djokovic dropped just ten points on serve the rest of the way as he improved his career record at Wimbledon to 85-10 and took sole ownership of second on the tournament’s list for all-time men’s singles victories. Only Roger Federer (105-14) has more. 

Wimbledon 2022 Novak Djokovic
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 5, 2022 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his quarter final match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner || AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Kyrgios looms large – expect “fireworks”

In Sunday’s final Djokovic will face Kyrgios for the third time and the first time at a Grand Slam. It is the Aussie who holds the 2-0 lifetime edge, but Djokovic who holds all the experience in Grand Slam finals.

Djokovic will play his 32nd Grand Slam final (on 68 appearances !) and his eighth final at Wimbledon; after advancing to the final via walkover after Rafael Nadal retired due to an abdominal injury, Kyrgios will play his first Grand Slam final.

In some ways this Wimbledon has been a grind for Novak Djokovic. The Serb has dropped four sets in his last three matches and spent over 15 hours on court at these championships, but he knows his work is just getting started.

“The job is not finished,” he said at the end of his post-match interview, with a look of intent in his eyes.

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