Wimbledon 2018 men’s final LIVE – Novak Djokovic takes the first set against Kevin Anderson in 29 minutes
- Djokovic wasted little time in taking the first set 6-2 in just under half-an-hour
- Anderson struggled to get a grip on Centre Court and was broken twice
- Djokovic is attempting to win his fourth Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam
Novak Djokovic is aiming for his fourth Wimbledon title on Sunday when he takes on Kevin Anderson in the Centre Court final on Sunday.
The Serb is without a Grand Slam success in over two years but is back to his best after an epic five-set win over Rafael Nadal in a truncated semi-final over two days.
Big-serving South African Anderson is his surprise opponent after he followed up an incredible comeback win over Roger Federer in the quarter-finals by outlasting John Isner in a six-hour marathon on Friday.
Join ADAM SHERGOLD for live updates with the action at SW19 getting underway at 2pm BST.
Can Anderson build on that hold? Another decent rally from the back of the court that Anderson actually controls and ends up winning.
Djokovic doesn’t take it lying down, delivering his first ace of the contest, then his second, and he’s quickly wrestled back control.
Pretty easy hold in the end.
Dig deep, Kev. Let’s have more of a contest. He delivers a third ace of the afternoon at 134 mph. He tries to gee himself up again.
Yep, this is much better. Djokovic can only plant his return into the net, Anderson’s first serve getting more accurate and more powerful.
Sadly, some of his returns remain painfully wayward. From 40-0, he allows Djokovic to pull back two points and then to deuce. A double fault creeps in as well.
Then a collector’s item as the spare ball slips out of Anderson’s pocket. ‘Let’ calls the umpire, spotting it. If it happens again, he’ll lose a point.
The longest rally of the match at 15 strokes goes Anderson’s way and he’s hanging on in there. Just about.
Five service games into the contest and that’s the first double fault Djokovic has committed.
But he is quickly back into his stride, forcing Anderson too wide or long. It’s pretty brutal for the South African, who has no response right now.
Anderson did call for the trainer before that last game and the treatment appeared to be for his bicep and elbow. So much strain from all that serving!
Anyway, he needs to put that one-sided first set behind him and press the reset button at the start of the second.
Djokovic has little sympathy, continuing to force the issue. He’s able to return the vast majority of Anderson’s serves – all but the very quickest – and once into a rally situation, he has the upper hand.
The Serb soon has two break points. Anderson scoops it long, he challenges the shot before but it goes against him and Djokovic continues to turn the screw.
Anderson just having a chat with the match referee. Medical issue? No sign of he trainer for the moment as he comes out for what is likely to be the last game of the first set.
Djokovic is just businesslike in his game and easily wraps up the opening set in half-an-hour.
Kieran Gill: Have seen a few tweets criticising Jack Draper’s attitude. I like his cockiness. Tennis doesn’t have to be all about politeness and respect. It’s good to have characters.
Early stages of the third set and 1-0 to Draper on serve.
Lots of love for Kevin Anderson in the crowd. Lots of shouts of encouragement for him.
But I must say it’s looking pretty ominous right now as he serves to stay in the net. Djokovic looks like a man on a mission, quick reflexes near the net to win the point.
Anderson falls back on that almighty serve, as he needs to. That one just the 134 mph.
And the game-winner a pretty damn speedy 135 mph. Djokovic will have to serve it out.
More often than not, Djokovic is absolutely ruthless in this situation. Two breaks and a firm grip on this opening set.
Another crisp volley takes him to 30-0 and a formidable serve that Anderson flops back into the net continues his perfect start.
‘Yeah, come on,’ cries the Serb as he takes a 5-1 lead.
Jack Draper won that second set tie-break on No 1 Court, taking it 7-2, and the Briton is one set apiece with Chun Hsin Tseng.
Anderson still looking a little tight and tense. Those muscles aching no doubt from the 21 hours of tennis he’s played over the past fortnight.
Djokovic, getting a slice of luck with a bounce off the net cord, surges into the 30-0 lead before Anderson beats him with another blistering ace.
The Serb quickly regains the upper hand and finds himself with two break points.
He needs just the one, Anderson can’t match the dip on the forehand shot and finds the net. Djokovic now in complete control of this first set.
A symphony of shutter clicks as the photographers courtside capture Djokovic’s serve action.
He’s looked the very picture of cool and composed so far in this final. No issues whatsoever on this service game either, Anderson simply unable to come up with any answers.
It’s another comfortable hold for the three-time Wimbledon champion.
The second set of the boys’ singles final between Jack Draper and Chun Hsin Tseng has gone into a tie-break.
Kieran Gill: Jack Draper looking far better in this second set than he did in the first. Fewer unforced errors.
The first challenge of the final, from Kevin Anderson after his first serve is called long. The call is proven correct.
But the South African’s early jitters have gone and that’s proven with a superb 137 mph ace, bouncing to head height on Djokovic.
A hold to love and Anderson is in the contest.
Anderson has only experience of one Grand Slam final, the US Open last year, and this is very much unchartered territory for him at Wimbledon. Needs to settle quickly.
Djokovic – old hand on this stage – obviously isn’t going to let his opponent settle. His first service game is comfortable and he already has the upper hand.
First point – an 11 shot rally. Doubt we’ll be seeing many of that length on the Anderson serve today. He likes to get things done quickly.
But it isn’t too long before Anderson finds himself in a dangerous moment. A couple of returns too long and Djokovic has an early break point.
And a double fault – a sign of nerves in a first Wimbledon final, perhaps – sees Djokovic get the early break.
The sun beating down on Centre Court, not a cloud in the blue skies overhead. Many in the crowd fanning themselves, sunhats and shades once again the order of the day.
The umpire James Keothavong brings the warm-ups to a close and we are about to start, with Kevin Anderson to serve first.
The two players remove their tracksuit tops, prepare their rackets and make their way out onto the court for the pre-match photographs and the warm-ups.
The giant 6ft 8in frame of Kevin Anderson towering over the mere 6ft 2in of Novak Djokovic.
Mike Dickson: Not ostensibly the dream final, but it will play out before an A-list Royal Box, including the Prime Minister, various royals and some serious luvvies.
Big question is who is in the better physical shape after the semi-final exertions. You would assume that is Djokovic but I don’t think Kevin Anderson is without hope.
He is happy in these very warm conditions, living in Florida, and the roof is of course open, which it was not for the Serb’s semi-final.
Anderson will also be helped by the fact that he played in the US Open final last September, so it is not entirely new.
You would still make Djokovic favourite but it could get interesting if the South African nicks the first set.
The crowd taking their seats on Centre Court. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in the Royal Box, so is the Prime Minister Theresa May.
The two players now making that walk that is so familiar to the world, from the shared locker rooms, through the corridors lined with iconic images of former champions. Past the various trophy cabinets, past artworks of the Queen.
Down the steps, through the reception, past the honours boards and out into the sunlight. Out onto Centre Court to the sound of thunderous applause.
That low hum of anticipation on Centre Court as we count down the minute until Novak Djokovic and Kevin Anderson walk out for the final.
The lucky ticket holders finding their seats, while the many more outside Centre Court finding a spot in the sunshine to watch on Henman Hill.
Further to that last update, Britain’s Jack Draper has lost the first set 6-1 to Chun Hsin Tseng in the boys’ singles final.
It’s been a first set of struggle for Britain’s Jack Draper in his boys’ singles final with Chun Hsin Tseng on No 1 Court.
Draper was broken in the opening game and then again in the third as Tseng, the top seed, raced into a 4-1 lead.
Kieran Gill: On Court No 1 watching Jack Draper. Taiwanese No 1 seed Chun Hsin Tseng is definitely one to watch for the future – has a huge double-handed backhand and makes very few mistakes. Draper struggling, on course to lose this first set. Crowd getting behind him, though.
No question that Kevin Anderson will be feeling it in his legs ahead of today’s final.
The South African has been in some epic contests during his run to the Wimbledon final. In all, Anderson has been on court for 21 hours and one minute in total.
By contrast, Novak Djokovic has been on court for just 15 hours and 34 minutes and hadn’t played for over three hours until that semi-final with Rafa Nadal.
PREVIEW: Marathon man Anderson hoping Djokovic will feel the strain
Mike Dickson: Kevin Anderson began the year losing to Kyle Edmund in the first round of the Australian Open, an unlikely precursor to his first Wimbledon final on Sunday against Novak Djokovic.
But then the 32-year-old South African is used to building up from humble beginnings, having cut his teeth playing a Futures -level event in Botswana.
It will come as no surprise to anyone who saw his classy, immediate post-match interview that the gentle giant is highly-respected in the locker room. He is vice-president of the ATP player council and is leading an environmental campaign to ban the use of plastic covers on freshly-strung rackets.
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Jamie Murray not the only British player seeking success today. Teenager Jack Draper is about to walk out onto No 1 Court for his boys’ singles final against Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan.
Draper has enjoyed quite the fortnight at SW19, as Laura Lambert explains here.
We will keep you up to date with how Draper is getting on once they get underway just after 1pm.
LATER ON: Jamie Murray eyes a piece of Wimbledon Doubles history
Matthew Lambert: Jamie Murray will on Sunday attempt to emulate Philadelphia’s Elias Victor Seixas Jnr and become the first man in over 60 years to win the Wimbledon mixed doubles title in consecutive years with two different partners.
Having won here last year with Martina Hingis, the 32-year-old Scot finds himself back in the final with Victoria Azarenka.
If Murray is to emulate Seixas, who at 94 is the oldest living male Grand Slam champion, he and his Belarusian partner must get past No 11 seeds Nicole Melichar of the USA and Austria’s Alexander Peya.
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PREVIEW: Djokovic isn’t far away from his peak once again
John Lloyd: I was surprised at Novak Djokovic’s level of play in the semi-final against Rafael Nadal on Saturday, and I think he surprised himself.
It was a fantastic match and Novak was visibly emotional afterwards even though he’s been there and done it so many times.
I believe he wasn’t convinced of himself yet and in his eyes I think he is ahead of schedule, having had elbow surgery in February.
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RECAP: How Djokovic overcame Nadal in two-day semi-final
Jonathan McEvoy on Centre Court: Novak Djokovic pointed to his feet when asked in what battered state he would take his aching body into Sunday afternoon’s Wimbledon final on Centre Court.
It was at least a change of anatomical direction, after questions associated with the other end of him — his head — dogged the Serb’s fall from the pinnacle of tennis power over the past 15 months. Well, his head, his heart — and his elbow.
So Djokovic was understandably emotional as he finally beat Rafa Nadal in a five-hour 15-minute semi-final that shone with both beauty and butchery. At times the ball was made to defy geometry.
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Impressively, this is the fifth successive year as champion for Yui Kamiji, while Diede de Groot has won both the singles and the doubles titles this year.
WOMEN’S FINAL: Kerber gatecrashes Serena’s party for first SW19 title
Mike Dickson on Centre Court: Duchesses Kate and Meghan, Tiger Woods, Lewis Hamilton — the great and the good flocked to Wimbledon to celebrate the ultimate story of sporting motherhood.
Unfortunately for them and Serena Williams they found an uncooperative gatecrasher in Angelique Kerber, who walked off with the champagne and left the whole party falling flat.
Not that she was anything less than a deserving 6-3, 6-3 winner over the 65-minute duration of a match which was delayed by two and a quarter hours.
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Seldom can there have been such a glorious Wimbledon fortnight, weather-wise.
It’s been wall-to-wall sunshine since we began on July 2 and today is no exception. Expect clear blue skies and bright sunshine for the players, with an open roof on Centre.
Temperatures have soared once again this weekend and will be around the 28-29C mark this afternoon.
It is one of the great spectacles of any sporting summer. The men’s singles final at Wimbledon is the meeting of the highest sporting calibre with the proudest of tradition.
Today, Centre Court will witness a meeting of one of the sport’s truest champions in Novak Djokovic and a player in Kevin Anderson for whom Slam success has been a long time in the waiting.
Djokovic will today play for his fourth Wimbledon title and a lucky 13th Slam crown. Anderson, gracing only his second major final, will aim for a maiden success on this elite stage.
The Serbian will begin as the strong favourite. Though his semi-final with Rafael Nadal spilled into yesterday, it didn’t last anywhere near as long as the five-set epic Anderson played with fellow big-server John Isner on Friday.
Six hours and 36 minutes of hard-hitting, a fifth set that ended 26-24 in his favour must surely have taken a heavy toll on the weary South African.
But, powered by the adrenaline of the occasion, perhaps he can spring a surprise.
The players will walk out onto Centre Court a little before 2pm. Before then, we’ll have all the build-up as The 2018 Championships draw to their close.
- Marathon man Kevin Anderson is praying Novak Djokovic is… Novak Djokovic close to regaining his peak form as Serb… Novak Djokovic to face Kevin Anderson in Wimbledon final… Superb Angelique Kerber gatecrashes Serena Williams’ party…
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