Novak Djokovic has broken his two-year grand slam title drought with a straight sets victory over South African Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon final.
The Serbian secured his fourth crown at The All England Club – and 13th career major – with a 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7-3) win that was much less straightforward than the lopsided scoreline suggests.
After a sluggish start, Anderson threatened another famous fightback like his quarter-final recovery from two sets down against Roger Federer before Djokovic staved off five set points in the dramatic third set.
He eventually reigned supreme after two hours and 19 minutes to surpass the Wimbledon feats of all-time greats and three-time champions John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and the Serb’s one-time coach Boris Becker.
The victory also elevated the 31-year-old above Australian Roy Emerson into fourth place on men’s tennis’s all-time grand slam title leaderboard behind only Roger Federer (20), Rafal Nadal (17) and Pete Sampras (14).
The big three of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have now amassed a staggering 50 slams between them to cement themselves as arguably the most dominant triumvirate in sports history.
Only Federer (8), Sampras (7), William Renshaw (7), Bjorn Borg (5) and Laurie Doherty (5) have won the sport’s greatest prize more times than Djokovic.
Djokovic’s victory also completes in the ultimate fashion his stirring comeback after a spectacular fall from grace last year.
The former world No.1 had been the first man since Laver in almost 50 years to hold all four majors at once after he swept to the non-calender-year grand slam with a career-defining French Open triumph in 2016.
But a chronic elbow injury and self-confessed troubles in his “private life” curtailed the Serb’s seemingly relentless charge towards tennis immortality as he relinquished all four trophies to lose his air of grand slam invincibility.
Now Djokovic has returned to his rightful place in the world’s top 10 after arriving in London two weeks ago ranked 21st, his lowest standing in the game in more than a decade.