Australia’s Nick Kyrgios admitted had he won the final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at Wimbledon, he would have achieved the greatest pinnacle in tennis.
Playing in his first-ever Slam finals, Kyrgios gave his all in the four-set marathon but fell short to Djokovic, who was playing in his eighth final at the grasscourt major, in the decider 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6(3)-7(7) on centre court on Sunday (July 10).
The Australian took an early advantage, winning the first set, but then lost his momentum. Kyrgios went all firing in the fourth set but fell short in front of Djokovic’s dominance and experience. With the win, the Serb clinched his fourth consecutive title at the Championships. Djokovic now has 21 Slam trophies, one more than Roger Federer (20) but one less than Rafael Nadal (22).
In spite of being at the losing end, Kyrgios sounded upbeat about his future in the sport. “It’s taken me almost 10 years in my career to finally get to the point of playing for a Grand Slam (final) and coming up short,” he said in the press conference.
“I feel like if I had won that Grand Slam, I think I would have lacked a bit of motivation, to be honest. I would have kind of achieved the greatest pinnacle of what you can achieve in tennis.
“I played a slam final against one of the greatest of all time, and I was right there. I came out in the first set and I looked like I was the one who had played in a lot of finals. I thought I dealt with the pressure pretty well.”
Kyrgios had received a walkover to the final after Rafael Nadal pulled out of the tournament due to an abdominal tear on the eve of their semi-final clash.
“The anxiety of obviously having that day off from the semi-final, I slept terribly again last night,” he said.
“I was just thinking about it all the time. I thought I handled myself well today. I just came up short and I’m happy with that. So I’ve got that under my belt now, a Wimbledon finalist. I can kind of draw from experience.
“I felt like I belonged. I feel like my level has always been there. I feel like I’ve put it together a little bit these couple of weeks.”
Kyrgios also heaped praise on Djokovic, saying: “In big moments, it just felt like he was never rattled.”
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