By climbing in the final of a Grand Slam tournament for the 32nd time in his career, Novak Djokovic broke a new record while his future opponent Nick Kyrgios took a beating. At the same time, Ons Jabeur is one step away from making his announcement earlier this year and Stefan Edberg delivers a truth that hurts the Swiss.
DJOKOVIC A LITTLE MORE IN HISTORY…, Novak Djokovic has done a double job: first, he qualified for the final of this Wimbledon – his first year in a “major” – which will pit him against a certain Nick Kyrgios. Second, he became the first player ever to secure a 32nd Grand Slam final. This number is overwhelming! The Serb is now one unit ahead of Roger Federer. For his part, Rafael Nadal points to two lengths. Slight disappointment in this match: there was so little excitement that we couldn’t even title it: “He chocke, Norrie”.
CYRGIOS’ REGRETS… Nick Kyrgios, who went straight to the final after Rafael Nadal’s package, didn’t hide his regret that he hadn’t managed to engage in a concrete showdown with the Spaniard. “I wasn’t hoping to reach the final like thatremarked the Australian. I was dying to see how the third Kyrgios Nadal chapter would go at Wimbledon. I just hope Rafa recovers quickly from his injury. And I’ll be honest: When I found out about his package, my first feeling was disappointment. I was so focused on him and the half to come…”
Novak Djokovic taunts the British crowd by sending them a small kiss after his win over regional stage Cameron Norrie. [Alastair Grant – AP]
THE AUSTRALIAN IS ALREADY CONSIDERING… After the disappointment came the chickweed. In fact, Nick Kyrgios spent one of his worst tournament nights between Thursday and Friday, as he admitted at a press conference yesterday: “I slept very poorly last night, maybe an hour total. The excitement was so great… I was very nervous, restless, with so many thoughts on my mind about the upcoming final… I feel like a ball of energy right now, I wish I could be there already. This will be my first Grand Slam final, I’ve never experienced that! Here Djokovic will have an advantage against me from the start; he’s done it so many times…“Nevertheless, “NK” now wants to go all out:”I never thought I would play for the title. I feel like this is the pinnacle of tennis. If you are capable of winning a Grand Slam trophy, what is there left to achieve? I’ll give it my all and see what happens…“
A FINALE THAT CAN BE BIG! This Novak Djokovic-Nick Kyrgios final (to be followed on Sunday from 3:00 p.m. on RTS 2) could be really big. For real. It can go either way if the Aussie doesn’t throw it in his face before stepping onto center court, if he doesn’t tag too much and knows how to stay fully focused on his subject. The contrast of styles could be quite extraordinary. That is, at least, our wish. But it’s true that there can be a gap between what the paper says and what the base holds. However, this is not what the Serb thinks who promised “that there could be fireworks“. Kyrgios insisted that the poster “mouth watery“.
Misleading statistics… In 2 clashes with Nick Kyrgios, Novak Djokovic has never won. The Serb was defeated twice in 2017, in Acapulco (7-6, 7-5) and then in Indian Wells (6-4, 7-6). Small precision though: these 2 games can in no way be compared to the upcoming one. For questions about use, surface, format, but also context; 5 years ago “Nole” went through a major crisis of confidence.
JABEUR-RYBAKINA, THE OTHER BEAUTIFUL POSTER… The women’s final on Saturday (3 p.m. on RTS 2) between Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina could also reach new heights. Admittedly, this would require the tournament’s two big players not to be devastated by the challenge and paralyzed by expectations, but they have everything to avoid that given what they have presented on multiple levels over the two weeks. The Tunisian’s ability to contain the Kazakh’s power will be one of the keys to this meeting. But if the Muscovite native manages to move her opponent, she will have a hand in the game. Unless Jabeur is definitely ONStoppable?
JABEUR’S VIEW… What feeling will Ons Jabeur inspire just before entering Center Court? The question remains open, but it’s important as it seems the Tunisian doesn’t ‘feel’ things too badly. Didn’t she announce in a WTA clip earlier this year that she will win Wimbledon? There is only one step left from dream to reality.
THE GRAY TRUTH OF EDBERG… The legendary Stefan Edberg was interviewed by L’Equipe. When asked who the greatest player of all time was, the Swede, who may be close to Roger Federer, provided Basel fans with a cruel truth. “History will remember whoever ended up winning the most Grand Slam titles…“
Arnaud Cerutti – @arnaud_cerutti
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