Novak Djokovic underlined his recent dominance at Wimbledon with a composed and controlled fightback against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios to win a fourth consecutive men’s singles title.
Serbia’s Djokovic, 35, lost the first set after some incredible serving from Kyrgios, but ended up winning 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-3) on Centre Court.
It is the Serb’s seventh SW19 men’s title and only Roger Federer has more.
Victory also moved him one behind Rafael Nadal’s record 22 men’s majors.
Top seed Djokovic made a slower start than his 27-year-old opponent, who initially seemed unnerved by playing in his first Grand Slam singles final.
But the Serb did not lose belief as he showed all of his experience and nous to turn the match around.
Losing his winning position began to irritate Kyrgios, who is known for his fiery temperament as well as his exciting tennis.
While Kyrgios increasingly remonstrated with his support team, Djokovic remained cool in the heat of the battle on a scorching Centre Court.
“He’s a bit of a God, I’m not going to lie. I thought I played well,” said Kyrgios as he congratulated Djokovic.
Frustrations reappear for Kyrgios as Djokovic keeps his cool
In temperatures passing 30C in London, a 15,000 near-capacity crowd including royals and celebrities were enthralled in what was surely the hottest ticket in town.
Djokovic had joked there would be “fireworks” in a match against a player who, like him, has shown the tendency to be combustible on the court.
The pair have also had an uneasy relationship in the past, with Kyrgios last year branding Djokovic a “tool” and a “strange cat”.
The tension had eased at the All England Club, with Kyrgios revealing a “bromance” had developed between the pair before they were seen joking together at their practices on Saturday.
The relationship remained cordial when the real thing began on Sunday, both knowing that losing their cool could provide encouragement to their opponent.
Kyrgios, who had spoken about struggling to sleep because of the excitement of reaching his first major final, initially did well to keep his emotions in check.
But, as the fourth-set tie-break ran away from him, the frustrations reappeared as the steely Djokovic drew out mistakes to seal a 21st major title with the third of five championship points.
The Serb roared towards his box in delight at clinching victory, then put his arm around Kyrgios, who smiled as he received some words – seemingly of encouragement – from his opponent.
Djokovic then dropped to his haunches and picked a blade of the Centre Court grass to eat in what has now become a customary celebration.
In his on-court victory speech, Djokovic told Kyrgios he would “be back” in a major final.
“It is tough to find consolation words at a moment like this but you showed why you are one of the best players in the world,” he said.
“I wish you all the best. I respect you a lot and you are a phenomenal talent.
“I never thought I would say so many nice things about you! Ok, it’s official: it is a bromance.”