Novak Djokovic Beats Cameron Norrie; Will Play Nick Kyrgios in Wimbledon Men's Final

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 8, 2022

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts as he wins a point against Britain's Cameron Norrie in a men's singles semifinal on day twelve of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Friday, July 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Novak Djokovic will face Nick Kyrgios in the 2022 Wimbledon men's championship match after a four-set victory over Cameron Norrie in Friday's semifinal at the All England Club in London.

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

One step away from a fourth consecutive Wimbledon title.<a href="https://twitter.com/DjokerNole?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DjokerNole</a> defeats Cameron Norrie 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to reach his eighth final at The Championships<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CentreCourt100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CentreCourt100</a> <a href="https://t.co/wVXnsfKrIN">pic.twitter.com/wVXnsfKrIN</a>

Djokovic dropped the opening set against Norrie, the ninth-seeded Brit who enjoyed strong crowd support during his career-best major run, but the No. 1 seed stormed back with three dominant sets to move within one win of his 21st Grand Slam trophy.

The 35-year-old Serb will also be seeking his seventh Wimbledon title and his fourth straight triumph in the marquee grass-court event dating back to 2018 (it wasn't held in 2020).

Kyrgios punched his ticket to the final without having to take the court Friday as Rafael Nadal withdrew because of an abdominal injury.

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

Djokovic. Kyrgios.<br><br>Centre Court. Sunday.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CentreCourt100?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CentreCourt100</a> <a href="https://t.co/GUldzbDgmR">pic.twitter.com/GUldzbDgmR</a>

Djokovic got off to a sluggish start in the penultimate round as he racked up 12 unforced errors in the opening set. He tallied just 16 errors over the next three sets combined.

In the end, it was a well-rounded performance from the third-ranked player in the world as he posted 38 winners, 13 aces and won 42 percent of points on the return (48 of 114) en route to five breaks.

Norrie, who'd previously never advanced beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament, simply couldn't keep pace once Djokovic ramped up the efficiency.

The underdog finished with 33 winners and 36 unforced errors.

Djokovic's track record suggests he should be viewed as a sizable favorite against Kyrgios, who will be playing for a major singles title for the first time. He did win the 2022 Australian Open doubles championship with Australian countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis, though.

Kyrgios holds a 2-0 advantage in their prior ATP Tour meetings, but both those matchups took place all the way back in 2017.

Before the men's final on Sunday, the women's championship will be on the line Saturday when Ons Jabeur takes on Elena Rybakina in a clash of first-time major finalists.