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Wimbledon, Men's Singles Final, Novak Djokovic vs Kevin Anderson Highlights - As It Happened | July 15, 2018, 9:35 PM IST
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Novak Djokovic is the overwhelming favourite to secure a fourth Wimbledon title on Sunday but he admits he feared his best days were behind him when his career nose-dived over the last year.
The 31-year-old former world number one won the last of his 12 majors at the 2016 French Open when he completed the career Grand Slam.

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Jul 15, 2018 9:31 pm (IST)
Jul 15, 2018 9:16 pm (IST)

Anderson: “Congratulations to him. I’m not feeling as fresh now as I was coming into the week. But this is an amazing tournament for all of us. That’s what it had to take for me to get here. I would have given another 21 hours to have the opportunity to play out here.”

Jul 15, 2018 9:15 pm (IST)

Djokovic:  “It feels amazing because for the first time in my life I have someone screaming ‘daddy, daddy’ and it’s a little boy right there. He’s under five years old, so he couldn’t watch the matches live but we hoped if I lifted the trophy he could be there. I’m very emotional and happy for my wife and my whole team. He was by far the best sparring partner I had in the last couple of weeks. But I would just like to congratulate Kevin. He has had quite a few hours in quarter-finals and semi-finals. In his first Wimbledon final he didn’t play well in the first two sets, but he was a better player in the third set and I was happy to come through. I owe a great thanks to my team. The last couple of years haven’t been easy. I had surgery and was absent from the tour for six months. This was my first grand slam final after a couple of years. There was no better place to make my comeback. This is a sacred place for tennis. I always dreamed of holding this trophy when I was a young boy. The grass tasted really good. I had a double portion this year.”

Jul 15, 2018 9:12 pm (IST)
Jul 15, 2018 9:01 pm (IST)

Djokovic wins it! And he heaves a sigh of relief, takes the tie-breaker 7-3 and you can see the relief on his face. Anderson simply failed to turn up for the first two sets and by the time he started fighting back, it was a bit too late! Djokovic wins 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 in straight sets!

Jul 15, 2018 8:57 pm (IST)

Djokovic taking the game here in the tie-breaker, leads 5-1 and is just two points away from his fifth Wimbledon title

Jul 15, 2018 8:54 pm (IST)

We are heading into a tie-breaker in the third set here, a really tough hold though for Djokovic here. He took almost 33 seconds to serve there for the final point, he is looking a bit weak mentally and Anderson needs to make the most of it..Stil 6-6..

Jul 15, 2018 8:43 pm (IST)

Some sensational serving by Anderson and he holds with ease here., Leads 6-5.

Jul 15, 2018 8:43 pm (IST)

Djokovic fights back to make it 5-5 but Anderson is getting into the groove now and playing like a player with nothing to loose. Djokovic also double-faults twice to give a break point to Anderson. Then Djokovic comes up to the net to make it deuce but another double-fault gives Anderson another opportunity before Djokovic fights back again to hold on. We are level at 5-5

Jul 15, 2018 8:31 pm (IST)

Anderson with a fist pump as he holds onto his serve here to make it 5-4! Can he script the most unlikeliest of comebacks? 

Jul 15, 2018 8:28 pm (IST)

It's 30-30 and Anderson gets a lucky point to get a break point but then Djokovic just moves up the gears and brings it to deuce as Anderson's forehand goes long. Still 4-4 here..

Jul 15, 2018 8:21 pm (IST)

Anderson making Djokovic fight in the third set. Big booming serves are also back for him and he leads 4-3 at the moment

Jul 15, 2018 8:18 pm (IST)

Djokovic holds on to his serve with ease yet again, Holds to love and we are back at 3-3..

Jul 15, 2018 8:15 pm (IST)

Anderson manages to hold at 30 here, a couple of errors from Djokovic and that gives Anderson an opportunity which he takes. He leads 3-2 here with Djokovic to serve next

Jul 15, 2018 8:11 pm (IST)

Djokovic holds to love with great ease here, he brings it back to 2-2 now..

Jul 15, 2018 8:09 pm (IST)

Djokovic's long forehand helps Anderson lead 40-15 and then the South African's forehand finds the bottom corner. He leads 2-1

Jul 15, 2018 8:06 pm (IST)
Jul 15, 2018 8:03 pm (IST)

Anderson needs to start well if he is to make this final any memorable, he holds serve but then Djokovic too holds with ease. It's 1-1 here

Jul 15, 2018 7:58 pm (IST)

Anderson finally turns up for the final but Djokovic still manages to take the set. A beautiful double-handed forehand down the lines helps Anderson level things at 30-30, fighting from 30-0 down. Djokovic's forehand goes wide and Anderson has a break point. But then Djokovic fights back and gets set point with strong backhand down the line before Anderson's poor return seals the set. Djokovic leads 6-2, 6-2

Jul 15, 2018 7:47 pm (IST)

Big booming serves help Anderson hold onto his serve here. The final though already looks lost, Djokovic leads 5-2!

Jul 15, 2018 7:44 pm (IST)

Some fight from Anderson but still Djokovic just too good for the South African. Anderson's movements have been letting him down here and making the job easier for Djokovic who leads 5-1 now

Jul 15, 2018 7:38 pm (IST)

It seems Djokovic wants to quickly wrap this up in time for the FIFA World Cup final here! A double fault gives the Serb a break point which he capitalises on as Anderson's forehand goes long. Djokovic leads 4-1

Jul 15, 2018 7:34 pm (IST)

Another easy hold for Djokovic here with an ace. He leads 3-1 now

Jul 15, 2018 7:31 pm (IST)

Now a ball falls out of Anderson's pocket in the middle of a rally. They replay the point, and Djokovic's poor forehand finds the net. South African manages to somehow hold and its 2-1 with Djokovic on serve

Jul 15, 2018 7:21 pm (IST)

Easy hold for Djokovic and this is turning into a one-sided affair already, Djokovic leads 2-0

Jul 15, 2018 7:18 pm (IST)

Djokovic gets the break again in the second set, Anderson just being taken to task here. The Serb giving him no room to stage a comeback for now. Djokovic's backhand kisses the baseline and Anderson's sends his shot long. Djokovic leads 1-0

Jul 15, 2018 7:11 pm (IST)

Another unforced error on the forehand sees Djokovic seal the first set in just 29 minutes. He takes this one 6-2 as Kevin Anderson calls for a physio, who is working on his elbow. Not looking so good for the South African

Jul 15, 2018 7:11 pm (IST)

Another unforced error on the forehand sees Djokovic seal the first set in just 29 minutes. He takes this one 6-2 as Kevin Anderson calls for a physio, who is working on his elbow. Not looking so good for the South African

Jul 15, 2018 7:06 pm (IST)

Some big serving from Anderson helps him hold a serve here. Djokovic though will now serve for the set, he leads 5-2

Jul 15, 2018 7:04 pm (IST)

Easy hold for Djokovic there, Anderson doesn't look anywhere near breaking Djokovic at the moment. Serb leads 5-1

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Wimbledon, Men's Singles Final, Novak Djokovic vs Kevin Anderson Highlights - As It Happened
And after a shattering quarter-final exit at this year's Roland Garros, which saw his world ranking slump to its lowest in 12 years, the Serb even considered sitting out Wimbledon where he has been champion in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

However, on Saturday, Djokovic was the big-hitting, chest-pumping star of old as he defeated old rival Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11/9), 3-6, 10-8 in an epic semi-final to book a Sunday title showdown with Kevin Anderson.

"Yes, there were moments of doubt, of frustration, disappointment, where you're questioning whether you want to keep it going," said Djokovic back in a Slam final for the first time since finishing runner-up at the 2016 US Open. It was at Wimbledon last year where his troubles started. An elbow injury forced a retirement in his quarter-final and he sat out the rest of 2017.

He was then knocked out of the Australian Open in the last 16 in January by Hyeon Chung, then ranked at 58.
Taro Daniel, the 109-ranked Japanese player, stunned in him in Indian Wells before Benoit Paire, at 47 in the rankings, knocked him out in Miami.

In what was becoming a familiar tale, Martin Klizan, at 140, ousted him in Barcelona before there were signs of life with a run to the final at Queen's Club on the eve of Wimbledon.

"I managed to overcome challenges and obstacles, get myself to the final of a Slam," added Djokovic.

"Obviously if you told me that six months ago, I would take it right away.

"But did I truly believe that I can get back on the level? Yes, I mean, it's hard for me to play tennis and not believe that I can be the best in what I do."
At Wimbledon this year, he has battled unruly crowds, claiming elements of Centre Court were "unfair" to him in his win over home hope Kyle Edmund, and bizarre scheduling.

Seeded at a lowly 12, he suffered the indignity of being exiled to Court Two for his second round. He will take a 5-1 career record over 32-year-old Anderson into Sunday's final.

His only loss was in 2008, while he has twice defeated the big-serving South African in two of his trophy-winning campaigns at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2015.

Anderson is the first South African man since Brian Norton in 1921 to reach the Wimbledon final.

He is also just the third African to reach this stage after Norton and Jaroslav Drobny who represented Egypt when he made the championship match in 1952 and 1954.

"I really hope that it's a source of inspiration for kids," said Anderson after his 6-hour 36-minute epic semi-final win over John Isner, the second longest singles match ever played at a Grand Slam.

The 2017 US Open runner-up had knocked out eight-time champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, also in five sets, saving a match point along the way.

The Florida-based Johannesburg-born player has spent 21 hours on court getting to the final.

Sunday's final may not be easy on the eye, however, with Anderson having fired 172 aces so far while boasting the fourth fastest serve at 140mph (225.3 km/h).

"I don't know if I'll be the clear favourite in that one. I think we're quite even," insisted Djokovic.

"He's definitely playing the tennis of his life. He's coming off from two epic marathon five-set wins. I don't think he has much to lose.

"He's going to come out with big serves and big tennis. Hopefully I'll be able to weather the storm."
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