(July 9, 2021) History will be made one way or another on Sunday during the Gentlemen’s singles final at Wimbledon.
Two-time defending champion No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be seeking his 6th Wimbledon crowns and 20th career major title when he takes on the first-ever Italian to reach the Wimbledon final in No. 7 seeded Matteo Berrettini. Should Djokovic win he’ll be tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most major titles all-time.
In addition, Djokovic would capture the first three legs of the calendar Grand Slam, should he win the final. The last man to win the Grand Slam was Rod Laver in 1969.
The 34-year-old Serbian held off 22-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov in his semifinals 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-5.
“I don’t think that the scoreline says enough about the performance and about the match,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview.
“He was serving for the first set and he was probably the better player for most of the second set,” Djokovic continued. “He had many chances and I would like to give him a big round of applause for everything that he has done today and these two weeks.”
“We’re going to see a lot of him in the future, definitely.”
Djokovic saved 10 out of 11 break points, the key to the win.
“There is no holding back once you step out on the court, particularly in the later stages of an event that I always dreamt of winning. The dream keeps going,” Djokovic said.
This will be Djokovic’s 30th major final, seventh Wimbledon final. He’s coming into the match on a 20-match win streak at Wimbledon.
“At this stage of my career, Grand Slams are everything, really,” Djokovic said. “They are the four events that count the most in our sport. I’ve been very privileged to make history of a sport that I truly love. It fills my heart every time that I hear there is something on the line that is historic. Obviously it inspires me, it motivates me.”
Berrettini did not drop his serve in a 6-3, 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-4 over another first-time major semifinalist, No. 14 seeded Hubert Hurkacz. Hurkacz 24-year-old from Poland, knocked out second seed No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev and No.. 6 Roger Federer on his way to the final four.
This was Berrettini’s second major semifinal – he also reached the semifinals at the 2019 U.S. Open.
“I have no words, really, just thanks. I need a couple of hours to understand what happened,” Berrettini said in his on-court interview. “I played a great match. I enjoyed the crowd, my family and whole team are there. I think I never dreamed about this, because it was too much for a dream.”
Berrettini dominated play with 60 winners, including 22 aces.
He’s coming into the final with a 11-match win streak on grass. He took home the trophy at the Queen’s club event.
Should he win on Sunday, he would be the first Italian man to capture a major trophy since 1976 when Adriano Panatta won the French Open.
“[My] first Slam final, I’m just so, so happy for everything,” said Rome native to media. “My year started in a good way, with the finals in ATP Cup. Then I got injured again. I kind of saw those ghosts again of my body kind of struggling.”
“Again, I came back stronger. I think I fully deserve to be here. I want to enjoy like I did today. I want to enjoy my first final.”
“Obviously, the job is not done yet. I want to get the trophy now that I’m here.
“It’s a really unbelievable feeling.”
Djokovic holds a 2-0 head-to-head record against Berrettini.