Mendoza: Why Djokovic is Wimbledon champ—again

·2 min read

Nobody was surprised with Novak Djokovic’s Wimbledon victory on July 10. And, this time, even the father and brother of Nick Kyrgios were staunch believers.

The signs of Kyrgios’ ill-conceived, defeat-producing theatrics were crystal-clear almost early on.

Kyrgios was brilliant in the opener, dismantling Djokovic with surgeon-like precision. That’s because Kyrgios kept his temper under check.

Well-behaved light, a well-harnessed, troller-riding baby, Kyrgios was clinically deadly with his patented powerful serves fired like guided missiles—almost with impunity. He had seven aces alone in the first set.

It wasn’t long, though, before the real Kyrgios would resurface.

Losing the luster of his 6-4, first-set victory as Djokovic began to rise from the pits beginning in the second set, Kyrgios started to spin quickly from fighter to nagger.

The 40th-ranked Kyrgios, 27, would essentially face another foe aside from Djokovic, 35, from the second set onwards, picking up a fight with “a woman” from courtside.

When the umpire challenged him to single out the fan, Kyrgios couldn’t produce the “woman” who he accused of taunting him repeatedly.

Why television cameras couldn’t show the “fan” on the screen was because there was no such human being to speak of in the first place.

Kyrgios was being paranoid? Just when Djokovic started unveiling his championship shots?

Kyrgios’ father and brother were seen on TV egging Kyrgios on to concentrate on his game. At one point, the brother was shown yelling at Kyrgios: “Focus on your opponent!”

All, to no avail.

After Kyrgios had gallantly won the first set, the Australian would next spend most of his time bitching, lambasting an imaginary heckler. This fueled his self-destruction.

In the end, Djokovic’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 victory was the result of Kyrgios’ self-immolation, robbing Djokovic somewhat of a well-deserved epic triumph due to his opponent’s apocryphal antics.

Djokovic’s 21st Grand Slam moved him past Roger Federer by one and to within a major of tying Rafael Nadal’s 22 titles.

“Against Kyrgios, it will be a game of small margins,” Djokovic had said before the match.

It appeared that way only because Kyrgios had a demon swimming in his mind.

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