The world number one will face the seventh seed in his 30th Grand Slam final on Sunday afternoon; The two players will go to the center court at 2:00 p.m. and for Matteo Berrettini, it will be his first Grand Slam final
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 07/10/21 1:18 pm
On Sunday afternoon at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Novak Djokovic could win a 20th Grand Slam title, a third major of the year and a third straight Wimbledon title – the man who stands in his way is the first runner-up of Wimbledon, Matteo Berrettini. .
With Djokovic playing in a 30th Grand Slam final and Berrettini about to experience a grand final for the first time, the odds clearly point to a victory for the world number one.
However, Berrettini has not lost on grass this season and has never lost on the surface when he won the first set.
In his semi-final against Hubert Hurkacz, the Italian hit 60 winners by just 18 unforced errors and has won 151 of 158 service games on grass this year.
“Obviously I’m trying to be the best at everything: tactical, mental, physical, everything,” Berrettini said after his 6-3 6-0 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 semi-final victory against Hurkacz.
“After the third set, where I thought I deserved to win and didn’t, I had to tell myself it didn’t matter. I felt better and like I was the strongest player and it was worth it.
“I remember the first time I stepped onto this court, two years ago against Roger [Federer]And it wasn’t the same performance! But, it is just a great legend. I enjoyed it, although I lost, and I think that experience helped me to be prepared.
“I’m thankful for everything that’s happening. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. My first final at Wimbledon. It’s crazy thinking about it.
“It will be a great day, a great sporting day. I am very happy that, together with football now, we are one of the most important sports in Italy.”
Marija Cicak will be the chair umpire for the final. She is the first female chair umpire of the men’s final and is the continuation of her presidency of the women’s singles final in 2014 and the women’s doubles final in 2017.
On Sunday, Berrettini’s serve and powerful forehand will be two great weapons as he aims to make his dreams come true by winning his first Grand Slam final and becoming the first Italian to triumph at Wimbledon.
Djokovic is widely regarded as one of the best returns the game has ever seen, but the Italian’s power and ability to hit the edges of the service area will be a challenge, even for the imperious Serb.
Particularly at this stage in my career, the Grand Slams are everything; They are the four events that count the most in our sport and I have had the privilege of making history in the sport that I really love.
While the seventh seed and first-time finalist struggles with his nerves, for Djokovic the process of being in a Wimbledon final and a Grand Slam final is normal.
During the final stages of this year’s Championship, the Serbian has not stopped talking about his motivation to continue making history and pushing the limits.
“I’ve said it so many times before, the most special tournament in the world on this court and there is no brake once you get out on the court, particularly in the later stages,” Djokovic said.
“The dream goes on, that’s all I can say. I’m trying to get the most of my own abilities in every game and see what happens. Giving up is never an option.”
“It fills my heart every time I hear that there is something at stake, it inspires and motivates me, but at the same time I have to balance it with being present and in the moment and only winning the next game.”
“For me, there is only one match in a few days and I will try not to think about the 30th Grand Slam final.”
Djokovic owns a 2-0 lead in his head-to-head record against Berrettini, and it will be all the better by the way Shapovalov pushed him during their 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 7-5-final semi-final.
“Hears [Shapovalov] he served for the first set and was probably the best player in the second set. He had a lot of chances, “Djokovic said.
“We will see him a lot in the future. He is a great player. You could say that today I am the best competitor.”
As the ‘top competitor’, Djokovic saved 10 break points against the Canadian during that semi-final and has no history of backing down on big occasions.
With the chance to match Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for 20 Grand Slam titles, the chance to secure a third major of the year and a third straight Wimbledon title, Djokovic should grow a foot higher on the center court stage.
He has only lost one set during this year’s Championship, against Britain’s Jack Draper in the first round, and has not lost a match on grass since 2018.
If Berrettini brings his ‘A’ game and Djokovic does too, we could all enjoy another Wimbledon final to remember and, in the end, one man will make history.