LONDON (AP) — Novak Djokovic is back at his best and the Wimbledon champion for a fourth time, grabbing a lead right away against a weary Kevin Anderson in the final and winning 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (3) on Sunday.
Anderson nearly managed to extend the match, holding five set points to force a fourth set. Djokovic held steady, saving all five of those, then was as superior in the tiebreaker as he was most of the sun-drenched afternoon.
It is Djokovic’s 13th major trophy, the fourth-highest total in the history of men’s tennis.
But it’s also his first in more than two years.
During that time, Djokovic struggled with a painful right elbow that eventually required surgery and as his losses accumulated, his ranking fell out of the top 20 for the first time in more than a decade. He grew so frustrated with his form that he spoke about skipping the grass-court circuit.
Fortunately for him, he changed his mind.
At No. 21, Djokovic is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon titlist since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001.
By HOWARD FENDRICH , AP Tennis Writer