LONDON (Reuters) ― Novak Djokovic claimed a fourth Wimbledon title in ruthless fashion as he beat giant South African Kevin Anderson 6-2 6-2 7-6(3) on a sweltering Centre Court on Sunday.
After the monumental drama provided by both men’s semi-finals, the two longest in Wimbledon history, the showpiece proved something of an anti-climax as Djokovic ended a two-year Grand Slam title drought.
Anderson, bidding to become the first South African to win the men’s title, had spent 21 hours on court to reach his first Wimbledon final and his tank appeared to be empty in the opening two sets as a clinical Djokovic dominated.
Djokovic, who had been required to finish his epic semi-final with Rafael Nadal on Saturday, lost some intensity at times in the third set and saved five set points as Anderson hinted at an improbable comeback.
But he forged ahead in the tiebreak and could celebrate a 13th Grand Slam title when Anderson netted a return.
Djokovic, who had suffered a dip in form and fitness in the past two years and was seeded only 12th for the championships, made only 13 unforced errors in the final as he offered more evidence that he is back to his best.
“It feels amazing because for the first time in my life I have someone screaming ‘Daddy Daddy’,” Djokovic said on court as he cradled the trophy with son Stefan having joined the rest of his family and entourage.
“This was my first Grand Slam final for a couple of years and there is no better place to make a comeback,” he said. “Congratulations to Kevin, he has had an incredible run.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)