Tue | Aug 21, 2018

Back on top: Djokovic wins fourth Wimbledon title

Published:Monday | July 16, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Novak Djokovic of Serbia kisses the trophy after defeating Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the men’s singles final match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, England, yesterday.

LONDON (AP):

Novak Djokovic acknowledged that he was worried. His coach was, too.

Could Djokovic ever return to the top of tennis? To the heights he had already reached? Could he put aside the time lost to a painful right elbow that required surgery and the disappointment of poor-for-him results? Could he end a Grand Slam drought that lasted more than two years?

All of that fretting seemed misplaced yesterday. Back at his best, Djokovic became Wimbledon's champion for the fourth time, grabbing a lead right away against a weary Kevin Anderson in the final and holding off a late challenge to win 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (3).

"There were several moments where I was frustrated and questioning whether I can get back [to the] desired level or not. But that makes this whole journey even more special for me," Djokovic said.

"It's easy to talk now and look back at it and be kind of grateful, but I really am grateful to go through this kind of, so to say, mixed emotions, turbulences as well, mentally, moments of doubt and disappointment and frustration, anger."

It is Djokovic's 13th major trophy, the fourth-highest total in the history of men's tennis, trailing only Roger Federer's 20, Rafael Nadal's 17, and his childhood idol Pete Sampras' 14.

But it is also Djokovic's first since he completed a career Grand Slam at the 2016 French Open.

"It was a long journey," the 31-year-old from Serbia said. "I couldn't pick a better place, to be honest, in the tennis world to peak and to make a comeback."