Wimbledon: Djokovic matches Federer and Nadal by beating Berrettini to take 20th slam

By Sports Desk July 11, 2021

Novak Djokovic drew level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 grand slam titles after battling back to beat Matteo Berrettini and defend his Wimbledon crown.

Sunday's final was the first since 2019, when Djokovic had to be at his best to edge Federer in one of the All England Club's great matches.

The top seed scarcely came close to that same standard against Berrettini, nor did he need to despite falling behind in a first-set tiebreak, allowing his opponent – a major final debutant – to defeat himself at times.

A 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-3 success earned Djokovic parity with Federer and Nadal, and he may well be out on his own as he shows few signs of slowing while his ageing rivals each manage their schedules.

Even in command of the one set he dropped, Djokovic survived a sloppy start to break at the second attempt as his opponent skewed a forehand into the sidelines and piled on the pressure again in a long eighth game.

But he faltered when serving for the set, with Berrettini's chipped forehand pass restoring parity, which was then protected with a roar to reach a tiebreak.

The pair traded mini-breaks before Berrettini seized the initiative, stepping forward for a superb forehand winner and serving out the set with a blistering ace.

Djokovic promptly claimed control of the second, though, alert at close range to break a first time and two up when Berrettini bowed to the third chance in the third game, firing into the net.

Berrettini did not give up the chase, following an outrageous tweener lob for 5-2 with a break back after Djokovic's slip and then a further frantic hold.

However, the world number one this time successfully served out the set to love and once more made swift progress in the third, holding his nerve in a backhand rally until Berrettini clipped the net.

Djokovic saved a pair of break points at 3-2 and kept Berrettini at arm's length thereafter to see out the set.

Berrettini took the fight to the favourite in the fourth but merely succeeded in provoking his best play of the match, a staggering point in which the breathless Djokovic held firm setting the stage for a break in the next game – decided by a double fault.

With the end in sight, rather than face the challenge of serving for game, set, match and championship, Djokovic went on the offensive again and Berrettini could not cling on, slicing into the net at the last.

Data Slam: Berrettini brave but beaten

Berrettini's aggressive approach meant this match was always likely to be decided on his racket. His 16 aces improved a tournament-high tally to 117 and fittingly included the decisive point in the first set. There were also 57 Berrettini winners, including three from approach shots in that opener. But the 48 unforced errors to the risk-averse Djokovic's 21 took the contest away from the Italian.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 31/21
Berrettini – 57/48

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic – 5/4
Berrettini – 16/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 6/15
Berrettini – 2/7

Related items

  • Wimbledon: 'It's only going to get tougher' says Norrie, but semi-finalist vows to 'take it to' Djokovic Wimbledon: 'It's only going to get tougher' says Norrie, but semi-finalist vows to 'take it to' Djokovic

    Wimbledon semi-finalist Cameron Norrie has pledged to take the fight to Novak Djokovic in their last-four tie.

    Norrie defeated world number 58 David Goffin 3-6 7-5 2-6 6-3 7-5 on Tuesday to seal his progression to a maiden grand slam semi-final.

    He is the first British man in the Open Era to reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon after Roger Taylor, Tim Henman and Andy Murray.

    The world number 12's reward is a tie against top seed and reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, who is in the hunt for a 21st grand slam title. Yet that daunting challenge is not dampening Norrie's enthusiasm.

    "It's great to get this now but it's only going to get tougher," said Norrie in his on-court interview.

    "I'm going to take it to Novak and hopefully you guys can get behind me and I'm sure you will."

    Jannik Sinner became the first player to win two sets against Djokovic at Wimbledon since Roger Federer did so in an epic final in 2019, but the Serbian hit back to win 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 on Centre Court.

    Djokovic has now won 84 singles matches at Wimbledon in the main draw, a tally that trails only Federer (105).

    Norrie has won two titles on the ATP Tour this year, but acknowledged it was hard to get an immediate grip of what he has achieved so far at Wimbledon.

    "I think just winning a match like this, I'm in shock. I don't know what to say now," the 26-year-old said.

    "I have flashbacks of all the hard work and all the sacrifices I have had to make and it's definitely paid off – and it feels pretty good."

  • Pochettino 'proud' of Paris Saint-Germain tenure after making way for Galtier Pochettino 'proud' of Paris Saint-Germain tenure after making way for Galtier

    Mauricio Pochettino expressed his pride at ending his Paris Saint-Germain tenure as a Ligue 1 champion after his departure was confirmed.

    PSG confirmed Pochettino's long-expected exit on Tuesday, appointing former Lille and Nice coach Christophe Galtier as his replacement on a two-year contract.

    Despite PSG winning their 10th Ligue 1 title in dominant fashion last season, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Pochettino since a spectacular collapse in a 3-2 aggregate Champions League defeat to Real Madrid in March.

    That represented PSG's fourth last-16 Champions League elimination in the last six seasons, while the former Tottenham boss also missed out on the Ligue 1 title to Lille – coached by Galtier – in his first half-season in France.

    Since Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) acquired the club in 2011, meanwhile, only Carlo Ancelotti (63.6) has recorded a lower win percentage as PSG boss than Pochettino (65.5).

    But writing on Instagram, Pochettino chose to focus on his successes and expressed his gratitude at being given the chance to lead the club, for whom he made 95 appearances as a player.

    "I want to wish everyone at PSG the very best for the future – the owners, the board, the players, all the staff and the supporters," Pochettino wrote.

    "To Nasser [Al-Khelaifi, PSG president] – I want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of the PSG family again.

    "We enjoyed some amazing moments and big wins all together and, as a coaching staff, with every experience we always take learnings to advance our evolution for the future.

    "We are proud to finish as league champions at a club that has meant so much to me and my family, from my time here as a player and a captain, and now as a coach."

  • Weghost joins Besiktas on loan from Burnley Weghost joins Besiktas on loan from Burnley

    Wout Weghorst has joined Turkish giants Besiktas on a season-long loan just six months after joining Burnley, in the aftermath of the club's relegation from the Premier League.

    The striker, who has scored three goals in 14 international appearances for the Netherlands, joined Burnley from Wolfsburg in a reported £12million (€14.4m) move in January, as the Clarets battled relegation from the top flight.

    That fight ultimately ended in failure, with Weghorst scoring just twice in 20 appearances for the club.

    While Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany is hoping to lead Burnley to an immediate Premier League return, he will have to do so without the services of Weghorst, who joins a side which finished a disappointing sixth in the Turkish Super Lig last term.

    Burnley confirmed his departure via their social media accounts on Tuesday, wishing the 29-year-old luck at his new club.

    Weghorst will be hoping his move to Istanbul allows him to rediscover his Wolfsburg form: In the 2020-21 season, he scored 20 Bundesliga goals, a tally only bettered by Erling Haaland (27), Andre Silva (28) and Robert Lewandowski (41).

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.