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Wimbledon

Insatiable Djokovic ready for ultimate showdown with Alcaraz

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Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2023 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his semi final match against Italy's Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Toby Melville

Novak Djokovic likes nothing better than munching on Wimbledon’s Centre Court turf on men’s final day and after setting up what he billed as the “ultimate showdown” with Carlos Alcaraz, he now wants to gobble up a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

“He’s very motivated. He’s young. He’s hungry. I’m hungry, too, so let’s have a feast,” joked the Serbian who has bent down to eat a handful of grass from the most famous tennis arena after each one of his seven Wimbledon triumphs

Djokovic has made no secret of his insatiable appetite to hoard more and more records as he looks to leave every rival, especially those whose names crop up in the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) debate, in his shade.

For the first time in his career, Djokovic stands alone on top of the men’s Grand Slam totem pole after he won the French Open last month to secure a 23rd major — moving ahead of his great rival Rafael Nadal on the all-time winners’ list.

But that achievement has only fuelled the 36-year-old’s burning desire.

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Considering he honed his skills in a drained swimming pool converted into a makeshift tennis court while NATO was bombing Belgrade in 1999, it is not difficult to understand why winning the biggest prizes in tennis means so much to him.

“Maybe some people think that it would be a huge relief for me winning Roland Garros, being the only men’s tennis player with 23 slams. It’s not,” Djokovic, who turned up for his news-conference wearing a forest green sweatshirt, baseball cap and watch, said ahead of contesting a record 35th major final.

“It’s no secret that Grand Slams are the highest priority for me, the highest goals on my priority list. Every time I start the season, I want to peak at these four tournaments.

“I feel that the job is not finished until I lift the trophy.”

MEN’S RECORD

Djokovic now stands one win away from equalling Roger Federer’s men’s record of eight Wimbledon titles and if he hoists the pineapple-topped gilded Challenge Cup on Sunday, he will draw level with Margaret Court’s haul of 24 majors – an all-time record the Australian has held for 50 years.

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Even at the age of 36, there is no sign that Djokovic’s aura of invincibility is fading as the Serbian has won six of the last 10 slams.

Even though Alcaraz recently dethroned him from the top of the world rankings, Djokovic is still considered the man to beat and still has the power to turn opponents into nervous wrecks as the 20-year-old Spaniard discovered during their Roland Garros semi-final.

Alcaraz admitted that the stress and tension of facing Djokovic brought on the debilitating cramps that ruined his chances of winning that showdown just five weeks ago.

No doubt he would have learnt a lot of life lessons from that distressing episode, and the way Alcaraz has been playing at Wimbledon means the Serbian will face a player that John McEnroe describes as being “better than Federer, Djokovic and Nadal were at 20. This guy is amazing”.

“If I win, it could be amazing for me — not only win a Wimbledon title but do it against Novak would be super special,” said U.S. Open champion Alcaraz.

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“I always say if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Novak is one of them. Would be great if I’ll do it.”

STAYING CALM

Despite his young age, the Spanish top seed has already captured 12 titles and appears to have wasted little time in feeling at home on grass as he demonstrated during his three-set destruction of third seed Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals.

While physically he appears to have no weakness, Alcaraz knows he will have to match Djokovic’s mental powers if he is to reverse the result from Paris.

“He’s amazing. He does nothing wrong on the court,” Alcaraz said as he bids to end the Serbian’s 10-year unbeaten run on Centre Court.

“Physically he’s a beast. Mentally he’s a beast. Everything is unbelievable for him.

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“I’ll try to get onto the court with not as much nerves as I had in the French Open … I hope not to get cramp during the final. I’ll do some exercise to stay calm and to forget – or I’ll try to forget that I’m going to play a final against Novak.”

Djokovic, locked at 1-1 in their head-to-head record, was looking forward to the challenge too.

“This is probably the best finals that we could have. We are both in good form. We’re both playing well,” added Djokovic as he looks to become the oldest man in the Open Era to win the grasscourt major.

“I want to take this title without a doubt. I look forward to it. It’s going to be a great challenge, greatest challenge that I could have at the moment from any angle really: physical, mental, emotional.”

-Reuters

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Wimbledon

Dominant Alcaraz blows away Djokovic to retain Wimbledon title

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Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2024 Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates with the trophy after winning the men's singles final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Paul Childs 

Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz produced an utterly ruthless performance to dismantle Serbia’s Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-2 7-6(4) in a rematch of last year’s Wimbledon final to successfully defend his title on Sunday.

Alcaraz now has four Grand Slam trophies with a perfect record in major finals, after his two Wimbledon triumphs, his U.S. Open victory in 2022 and his French Open win last month.

Defeat denied Djokovic a 25th Grand Slam title to surpass Margaret Court in the all-time list and also equal Roger Federer’s haul of eight men’s singles titles at Wimbledon.

Alcaraz pounced on his fifth break point in a tight first game that lasted 14 minutes, before the 21-year-old third seed dropped the hammer and powered through the opening set on the back of some solid serving.

Second seed Djokovic came under more pressure at the start of the next set as Alcaraz bullied the 37-year-old in the early exchanges to break and capitalised on his service woes for an imposing two-set lead.

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Djokovic and Alcaraz went toe-to-toe until 4-4 in the third set before the Spaniard broke with a big backhand winner to take a 5-4 lead. However, despite being 40-0 up, he squandered three match points and dropped serve.

He tamed his nerves to clinch victory in the tiebreak when Djokovic crashed a return into the net.

-Reuters

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Wimbledon

List of Wimbledon men’s singles champions

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- Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 14, 2024 Spain's Carlos Alcaraz in action during his men's singles final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Paul Child

List of Wimbledon men’s singles champions:

2024 Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) beat Novak Djokovic (Serbia) 6-2 6-2 7-6(4)

2023 Alcaraz (Spain) beat Djokovic (Serbia) 1-6 7-6(6) 6-1 3-6 6-4

2022 Djokovic (Serbia) beat Nick Kyrgios (Australia) 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3)

2021 Djokovic (Serbia) beat Matteo Berrettini (Italy) 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 6-3

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2020 Tournament cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

2019 Djokovic (Serbia) beat Roger Federer (Switzerland) 7-6(5) 1-6 7-6(4) 4-6 13-12(3)

2018 Djokovic (Serbia) beat Kevin Anderson (South Africa) 6-2 6-2 7-6(3)

2017 Federer (Switzerland) beat Marin Cilic (Croatia) 6-3 6-1 6-4

2016 Andy Murray (Britain) beat Milos Raonic (Canada) 6-4 7-6(3) 7-6(2)

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2015 Djokovic (Serbia) beat Federer (Switzerland) 7-6(1) 6-7(10) 6-4 6-3

2014 Djokovic (Serbia) beat Federer (Switzerland) 6-7(7) 6-4 7-6(4) 5-7 6-4

2013 Murray (Britain) beat Djokovic (Serbia) 6-4 7-5 6-4

2012 Federer (Switzerland) beat Murray (Britain) 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4

2011 Djokovic (Serbia) beat Rafael Nadal (Spain) 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3

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2010 Nadal (Spain) beat Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) 6-3 7-5 6-4

2009 Federer (Switzerland) beat Andy Roddick (U.S.) 5-7 7-6(6) 7-6(5) 3-6 16-14

2008 Nadal (Spain) beat Federer (Switzerland) 6-4 6-4 6-7(5) 6-7(8) 9-7

2007 Federer (Switzerland) beat Nadal (Spain) 7-6(7) 4-6 7-6(3) 2-6 6-2

2006 Federer (Switzerland) beat Nadal (Spain) 6-0 7-6(5) 6-7(2) 6-3

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2005 Federer (Switzerland) beat Roddick (U.S.) 6-2 7-6(2) 6-4

2004 Federer (Switzerland) beat Roddick (U.S.) 4-6 7-5 7-6(3) 6-4

2003 Federer (Switzerland) beat Mark Philippoussis (Australia) 7-6(5) 6-2 7-6(3)

2002 Lleyton Hewitt (Australia) beat David Nalbandian(Argentina) 6-1 6-3 6-2

2001 Goran Ivanisevic (Croatia) beat Pat Rafter (Australia) 6-3 3-6 6-3 2-6 9-7

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2000 Pete Sampras (U.S.) beat Rafter (Australia) 6-7(10) 7-6(5) 6-4 6-2

1999 Sampras (U.S.) beat Andre Agassi (U.S.) 6-3 6-4 7-5

1998 Sampras (U.S.) beat Ivanisevic (Croatia) 6-7(2) 7-6(9) 6-4 3-6 6-2

1997 Sampras (U.S.) beat Cedric Pioline (France) 6-4 6-2 6-4

1996 Richard Krajicek (Netherlands) beat Mal Washington (U.S.) 6-3 6-4 6-3

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1995 Sampras (U.S.) beat Boris Becker (Germany) 6-7(5) 6-2 6-4 6-2

1994 Sampras (U.S.) beat Ivanisevic (Croatia) 7-6(2) 7-6(5) 6-0

1993 Sampras (U.S.) beat Jim Courier (U.S.) 7-6(3) 7-6(6) 3-6 6-3

1992 Agassi (U.S.) beat Ivanisevic (Croatia) 6-7(8) 6-4 6-4 1-6 6-4

1991 Michael Stich (Germany) beat Becker (Germany) 6-4 7-6(4) 6-4

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1990 Stefan Edberg (Sweden) beat Becker (Germany) 6-2 6-2 3-6 3-6 6-4

1989 Becker (Germany) beat Edberg (Sweden) 6-0 7-6(1) 6-4

1988 Edberg (Sweden) beat Becker (Germany) 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4 6-2

1987 Pat Cash (Australia) beat Ivan Lendl (Czechoslovakia) 7-6(5) 6-2 7-5

1986 Becker (Germany) beat Lendl (Czechoslovakia) 6-4 6-3 7-5

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1985 Becker (Germany) beat Kevin Curren (U.S.) 6-3 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 6-4

1984 John McEnroe (U.S.) beat Jimmy Connors (U.S.) 6-1 6-1 6-2

1983 McEnroe (U.S.) beat Chris Lewis (New Zealand) 6-2 6-2 6-2

1982 Connors (U.S.) beat McEnroe (U.S.) 3-6 6-3 6-7(2) 7-6(5) 6-4

1981 McEnroe (U.S.) beat Bjorn Borg (Sweden) 4-6 7-6(1) 7-6(4) 6-4

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1980 Borg (Sweden) beat McEnroe (U.S.) 1-6 7-5 6-3 6-7(16) 8-6

1979 Borg (Sweden) beat Roscoe Tanner (U.S.) 6-7(4) 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-4

1978 Borg (Sweden) beat Connors (U.S.) 6-2 6-2 6-3

1977 Borg (Sweden) beat Connors (U.S.) 3-6 6-2 6-1 5-7 6-4

1976 Borg (Sweden) beat Ilie Nastase (Romania) 6-4 6-2 9-7

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1975 Arthur Ashe (U.S.) beat Connors (U.S.) 6-1 6-1 5-7 6-4

1974 Connors (U.S.) beat Ken Rosewall (Australia) 6-1 6-1 6-4

1973 Jan Kodes (Czechoslovakia) beat Alex Metreveli (Soviet Union) 6-1 9-8 (7-5) 6-3

1972 Stan Smith (U.S.) beat Nastase (Romania) 4-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 7-5

1971 John Newcombe (Australia) beat Smith (U.S.) 6-3 5-7 2-6 6-4 6-4

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1970 Newcombe (Australia) beat Rosewall (Australia) 5-7 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-1

1969 Rod Laver (Australia) beat Newcombe (Australia) 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4

1968 Laver (Australia) beat Tony Roche (Australia) 6-3 6-4 6-2

PRE-OPEN ERA:

1967 Newcombe (Australia) beat Wilhelm Bungert (Germany) 6-3 6-1 6-1

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1966 Manuel Santana (Spain) beat Dennis Ralston (U.S.) 6-4 11-9 6-4

1965 Roy Emerson (Australia) beat Fred Stolle (Australia) 6-2 6-4 6-4

1964 Emerson (Australia) beat Stolle (Australia) 6-4 12-10 4-6 6-3

1963 Chuck McKinley (U.S.) beat Stolle (Australia) 9-7 6-1 6-4

1962 Laver (Australia) beat Marty Mulligan (Australia) 6-2 6-2 6-1

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1961 Laver (Australia) beat McKinley (U.S.) 6-3 6-1 6-4

1960 Neale Fraser (Australia) beat Laver (Australia) 6-4 3-6 9-7 7-5

1959 Alex Olmedo (U.S.) beat Laver (Australia) 6-4 6-3 6-4

1958 Ashley Cooper (Australia) beat Fraser (Australia) 3-6 6-3 6-4 13-11

1957 Lew Hoad (Australia) beat Cooper (Australia) 6-2 6-1 6-2

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1956 Hoad (Australia) beat Rosewall (Australia) 6-2 4-6 7-5 6-4

1955 Tony Trabert (U.S.) beat Kurt Nielsen (Denmark) 6-3 7-5 6-1

1954 Jaroslav Drobny (Egypt) beat Rosewall (Australia) 13-11 4-6 6-2 9-7

1953 Vic Seixas (U.S.) beat Nielsen (Denmark) 9-7 6-3 6-4

1952 Frank Sedgman (Australia) beat Drobny (Egypt) 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-2

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1951 Dick Savitt (U.S.) beat Ken McGregor (Australia) 6-4 6-4 6-4

1950 Budge Patty (U.S.) beat Sedgman (Australia) 6-1 8-10 6-2 6-3

1949 Ted Schroeder (U.S.) beat Drobny (Egypt) 3-6 6-0 6-3 4-6 6-4

1948 Bob Falkenburg (U.S.) beat John Bromwich (Australia) 7-5 0-6 6-2 3-6 7-5

1947 Jack Kramer (U.S.) beat Tom Brown (U.S.) 6-1 6-3 6-2

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1946 Yvon Petra (France) beat Geoff Brown (Australia) 6-2 6-4 7-9 5-7 6-4

1940-1945 No competition

1939 Bobby Riggs (U.S.) beat Elwood Cooke (U.S.) 2-6 8-6 3-6 6-3 6-2

1938 Donald Budge (U.S.) beat Bunny Austin (Britain) 6-1 6-0 6-3

1937 Budge (U.S.) beat Gottfried von Cramm (Germany) 6-3 6-4 6-2

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1936 Fred Perry (Britain) beat von Cramm (Germany) 6-1 6-1 6-0

1935 Perry (Britain) beat von Cramm (Germany) 6-2 6-4 6-4

1934 Perry (Britain) beat Jack Crawford (Australia) 6-3 6-0 7-5

1933 Crawford (Australia) beat Ellsworth Vines (U.S.) 4-6 11-9 6-2 2-6 6-4

1932 Vines (U.S.) beat Austin (Britain) 6-2 6-2 6-0

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1931 Sidney Wood (U.S.) beat Frank Shields (U.S.) walkover

1930 William Tilden (U.S.) beat Wilmer Allison (U.S.) 6-3 9-7 6-4

1929 Henri Cochet (France) beat Jean Borotra (France) 6-4 6-3 6-4

1928 Rene Lacoste (France) beat Cochet (France) 6-1 4-6 6-4 6-2

1927 Cochet (France) beat Borotra (France) 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-5

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1926 Borotra (France) beat Howard Kinsey (U.S.) 8-6 6-1 6-3

1925 Lacoste (France) beat Borotra (France) 6-3 6-3 4-6 8-6

1924 Borotra (France) beat Lacoste (France) 6-1 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-4

1923 Bill Johnston (U.S.) beat Frank Hunter (U.S.) 6-0 6-3 6-1

1922 Gerald Patterson (Australia) beat Randolph Lycett (Australia) 6-3 6-4 6-2

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From 1877 to 1921 the men’s singles was decided on a challenge-round system with the previous year’s winner automatically qualifying for the final (British unless stated):

1921 Tilden (U.S.) beat Brian Norton (South Africa) 4-6 2-6 6-1 6-0 7-5

1920 Tilden (U.S.) beat Patterson (Australia) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4

1919 Patterson (Australia) beat Norman Brookes (Australia) 6-3 7-5 6-2

1915-18 No tournament held

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1914 Brookes (Australia) beat Anthony Wilding (New Zealand) 6-4 6-4 7-5

1913 Wilding (New Zealand) beat Maurice McLoughlin (U.S.) 8-6 6-3 10-8

1912 Wilding (New Zealand) beat Arthur Gore 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-4

1911 Wilding (New Zealand) beat Herbert Barrett 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-2 retired

1910 Wilding (New Zealand) beat Gore 6-4 7-5 4-6 6-2

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1909 Gore beat Major Ritchie 6-8 1-6 6-2 6-2 6-2

1908* Gore beat Barrett 6-3 6-2 4-6 3-6 6-4

1907* Brookes (Australia) beat Gore 6-4 6-2 6-2

1906 Laurence Doherty beat Frank Riseley 6-4 4-6 6-2 6-3

1905 Doherty beat Brookes (Australia) 8-6 6-2 6-4

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1904 Doherty beat Riseley 6-1 7-5 8-6

1903 Doherty beat Riseley 7-5 6-3 6-0

1902 Doherty beat Gore 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-0

1901 Gore beat Reginald Doherty 4-6 7-5 6-4 6-4

1900 Reginald Doherty beat Sydney Smith 6-8 6-3 6-1 6-2

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1899 Reginald Doherty beat Gore 1-6 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3

1898 Reginald Doherty beat Laurence Doherty 6-3 6-3 2-6 5-7 6-1

1897 Reginald Doherty beat Harold Mahony 6-4 6-4 6-3

1896 Mahony beat Wilfred Baddeley 6-2 6-8 5-7 8-6 6-3

1895* Baddeley beat Wilberforce Eaves 4-6 2-6 8-6 6-2 6-3

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1894 Joshua Pim beat Baddeley 10-8 6-2 8-6

1893 Pim beat Baddeley 3-6 6-1 6-3 6-2

1892 Baddeley beat Pim 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-2

1891* Baddeley beat Pim 6-4 1-6 7-5 6-0

1890 Willoughby Hamilton beat William Renshaw 6-8 6-2 3-6 6-1 6-1

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1889 William Renshaw beat Ernest Renshaw 6-4 6-1 3-6 6-0

1888 Ernest Renshaw beat Herbert Lawford 6-3 7-5 6-0

1887* Lawford beat Ernest Renshaw 1-6 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-4

1886 William Renshaw beat Lawford 6-0 5-7 6-3 6-4

1885 William Renshaw beat Lawford 7-5 6-2 4-6 7-5

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1884 William Renshaw beat Lawford 6-0 6-4 9-7

1883 William Renshaw beat Ernest Renshaw 2-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3

1882 William Renshaw beat Ernest Renshaw 6-1 2-6 4-6 6-2 6-2

1881 William Renshaw beat John Hartley 6-0 6-1 6-1

1880 Hartley beat Lawford 6-3 6-2 2-6 6-3

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1879* Hartley beat Vere St Leger Goold 6-2 6-4 6-2

1878 Frank Hadow beat Spencer Gore 7-5 6-1 9-7

1877 Spencer Gore beat William Marshall 6-1 6-2 6-4

*Denotes no challenge round. Winner of all-comers’ final declared champion. REUTERS

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Wimbledon

Inspired Krejcikova emulates mentor Novotna with Wimbledon triumph

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Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 13, 2024 Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova celebrates with the trophy after winning her final against Italy's Jasmine Paolini REUTERS/Matthew Childs 

Summary

  • Czech staves off Italian seventh seed Paolini to win title
  • Second Grand Slam singles crown after 2021 French Open win
  • More heartbreak for Paolini after Roland Garros final loss

 An inspired Barbora Krejcikova etched her name onto Wimbledon’s famed honours board alongside her late mentor Jana Novotna after the seasoned Czech survived a stirring fightback from Jasmine Paolini to seal a 6-2 2-6 6-4 victory in the final on Saturday.

The 2021 French Open champion added the Venus Rosewater Dish to her bulging trophy cabinet that also includes 10 Grand Slam doubles prizes besides an Olympic doubles gold medal from the Tokyo Games three years ago.

Moments after her triumph, Krejcikova was reflecting on a chat that she had as a junior with her idol Novotna, who lifted the Wimbledon title 26 years ago and tragically died in 2017 following a battle with ovarian cancer aged 49.

“Knocking on her door, it changed my life,” said Krejcikova, who reached out to Novotna for help by writing her a letter before they started working together in 2014.

“In that period, when I finished the juniors, I didn’t know what to do. Should I continue playing professionally or should I go into education?

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“She was the one who told me I had the potential. I should definitely turn professional. Before she passed away she told me I can win a Grand Slam. I achieved that in Paris in 2021.

“It was an unbelievable moment for me and I never really dreamed I would win the same trophy as Jana did in 1998.”

Novotna had captured the hearts of fans when she famously sobbed on the shoulders of the Duchess of Kent during the 1993 presentation ceremony after being beaten by Steffi Graf.

On Saturday, it was Krejcikova who broke down in tears when she was shown her idol’s name on the honours board at the All England Club.

“The only thing that was going through my head was that I miss Jana a lot. It was just a very emotional moment to see my name on a board right next to her,” Krejcikova told reporters.

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“I think she would be proud. I think she would be really excited that I’m on a same board as she is because Wimbledon was super special for her.”

MENACING MOOD

In a final between two players whose styles are more suited to the slow claycourts of Roland Garros rather than slick grass at the All England Club, Krejcikova began in a menacing mood with some heavy hitting to dictate play.

She raced through the opening set on a sunlit Centre Court before the crowd roared on French Open runner-up Paolini to coax her into action.

The ever-smiling Italian obliged and levelled the contest in her usual rollicking fashion, but Krejcikova quickly wrestled back the advantage after breaking serve at 3-3 thanks to a double fault and pulled away.

Serving for the title at 5-4, Krejcikova endured a nervy spell as she wasted two match points before saving two break points to seal victory at the third time of asking — a result that even left her stunned.

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“I think nobody believes it that I got to the final and nobody believes that I won Wimbledon,” said Krejcikova, who joined an elite list of Czech Wimbledon champions including Marketa Vondrousova, Petra Kvitova and Novotna.

“I still can’t believe it.

“… It’s definitely the best day of my tennis career and also the best day of my life.”

Victory was all the more special for Krejcikova who had a losing record heading into Wimbledon. In fact, she had only won seven matches all season when she arrived in London due to a back injury and illness. Her 7-9 win-loss record in 2024 was nothing to shout about.

She doubled that match-win tally with her run to the title at the grasscourt major and on Saturday she threw her arms up in the air and was shouting “It feels great” after completing her incredible journey.

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She also became the eighth different women’s champion in as many editions.

“Two weeks ago I had a tough match (in the first round against Veronika Kudermetova) and I wasn’t in good shape before that because I was injured and ill. I didn’t really have a good beginning to the season,” Krejcikova said.

“It’s unbelievable I’m stood here and I’ve won Wimbledon.”

It was heartbreak all over again for the bubbly Paolini, who lost the French Open final against Iga Swiatek a few weeks ago and was bidding to become the first Italian player to win a Wimbledon singles title.

“Sometimes I’m a little bit scared to dream too much. I’m going back, trying to practice, to stay in the present. This is the goal for me, my team, to try to keep this level as much as possible,” the seventh-seeded Paolini said.

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“If I keep this level, I think I can have the chance to do great things. But if I’m not keeping this level, it’s not coming anything good.

“I don’t know what to dream right now. Today I was dreaming to hold the trophy, but didn’t go well. I’m just enjoying the position where I am right now, number five in the world.

“It’s unbelievable, honestly. I just did two finals in two Grand Slams. I have to be also happy with the results. I’m also a little bit disappointed.”

-Reuters

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