Djokovic Reaches His 20th Grand Slam Title at Wimbledon

Djokovic Reaches His 20th Grand Slam Title at Wimbledon Photo: TT
Novak Djokovic holds the winners trophy after he defeated Matteo Berrettini who holds his runners-up plate. Men's singles final at Wimbledon, July 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

World No. 1 claimed his sixth victory at The Championships over Matteo Berrettini in a four-set thriller.

The 2021 Wimbledon men’s singles final saw Novak Djokovic prevailing over Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, after three hours and 23 minutes.

The 34-year-old Serbian continues to write history, as he becomes the fifth man to win the first three Grand Slam tournaments of the season (Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon), the first since Rod Laver in 1969.

Achieving his sixth Wimbledon championship at the All England Club took the best out from the top seed, who displayed high-quality tennis and a run of form, along the hard-fought battle against the world No. 9 - contesting his first Grand Slam final on Sunday.

It was more than a battle. Winning Wimbledon was always the biggest dream of mine as a child,” Djokovic said.

I know how special this is, and I don’t want to take this for granted. I was a seven-year-old boy in Serbia, constructing a Wimbledon tennis trophy with improvised materials in my bedroom, and now I am standing here with six titles. It’s incredible.”

Both players stepped out onto Centre Court with the same goal, to lift the winner’s trophy of a tournament that is synonymous with tradition, being the only Grand Slam contested on grass courts.

As he reached his 20th major title, the Belgrade native pulled level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

In his own words: “I have to pay a great tribute to Rafa and Roger as legends of our sport, the two most important players in my career and why I am the player I am today.

“They made me realize what I needed to improve, mentally, physically, and tactically,” he stated in an on-court interview.

Adding: “When I first broke into the Top 10, for three or four years, I lost most of the big matches against these guys, and something shifted at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. The past ten years have been an incredible journey, and it is not stopping here.”

Djokovic’s journey is far from over; as a matter of fact, he has already poised his eyes on a new target to win the Golden Slam.

It consists of winning the four Grand Slams plus the Olympic gold in a single calendar year, an accomplishment achieved in 1988 by Steffi Graf.

In order for that to happen, the man who captured five Nitto ATP Finals needs to claim the US Open title and triumph at the Tokyo Olympics.

I could definitely envisage it happening, and I will definitely give it a shot,” he outlined.

I am in great form, and I am playing well at the Grand Slams. So let’s keep it going.”

The Tokyo Olympics runs from 23 July to 8 August, while the US Open will take place from 30 August to 12 September.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Djokovic’s got off to an erratic start of the first game, recording two double faults, albeit he managed to take the lead 1-0 over Berrettini, who lost the game with a forehand unforced error.

The Serbian struck first, breaking Berrettini serve, to lead 3-1, in control of the set.

However, the 25-year-old came back from 2-5 down a break to win the tiebreaker and the first set 7-6(4) in one hour and 10 minutes, making good use of his backhand slice.

The world number one came out stronger into the second set, winning a break with a forehand volley winner.

At 3-0, he led Berrettini, who seemed to have lost focus and consistency at the start. The Italian regrouped, holding from 0-40 for 4-5 from 1-5.

Nevertheless, the Roland Garros champion bounced back, taking the second set 6-4 to level a nail-biting match.

Djokovic hit 28 unforced errors at that stage, while the first Italian player in history to reach the Wimbledon singles final hit 10, striking 22 and 11 winners, respectively.

With the score tied and tight, the third set became an authentic duel.

From his part, Djokovic raised his level, while the Roman player contested his personal best game of the match playing for 3-4 in the set.

Berrettini’s inside-out forehand was as explosive as lethal, though Djokovic’s backhand would place him one set away from his 20th Grand Slam title.

The latter closed out the third set 6-4, opening a 2-1 sets advantage, hitting five winners and three unforced errors.

Following a double fault hit at 3-3 by the seventh seed, his opponent did not waste time to break his serve for the fifth time in the match, taking the lead and the set by 6-3.

All in all, Djokovic won 79 percent of his first-serve points (59/75) to 76 (69/91) from the Italian player.

Furthermore, he hit five aces, 31 winners, and 21 unforced errors, converting 6 of 15 breakpoints.

The cinch Championships champion hit 16 aces, 57 winners, and 48 unforced errors, converting 2 of 7 breakpoints.

Speaking about his rival on the court and his journey throughout the tournament, Berrettini commented: “Novak was better than me, as he is a great champion. He is right in the history of the sport, and he deserves all the plaudits.

I hope it’s not my last Grand Slam final. It is such an honor to be here, and it’s been a really great run the past couple of weeks and also at The Queen’s Club.”

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and a journalist passionate about sports, particularly motorsport, tennis, and soccer

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