He had come to get a 20e Grand Slam title, a record to which he has devoted himself body and soul for years. Serbian Novak Djokovic won his sixth Wimbledon tournament on Sunday 11 July, beating Italian Matteo Berrettini in the final (9e world), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, thus tying the record of 20 Grand Slam titles previously held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
At 34, the Serbian has won 9 Australian Open, 2 Roland Garros, 6 Wimbledon and 3 US Open. Having won the first three Majors of the year, he can aim at the US Open in September the Grand Slam, or even the Golden Slam, which consists of winning the four majors and the Olympic gold medal in the same year. Only the German Steffi Graf achieved this feat in 1988.
The moment @DjokerNole became #Wimbledon champion for the sixth time https://t.co/5xN8ogWYYT
Against Berrettini, who was playing his first Grand Slam final at 25, Djokovic spoke of experience and tactical sense on a filled Center Court, hypnotized by the quality and intensity of the duel (57 winning shots for Berrettini, 31 for Djokovic), quick to salute the exploits on both sides and to support the two players loudly.
Push Berrettini to the fault
Faced with the formidable serve and forehand of the Italian, the best returner in the world pounded the backhand and played less consistent balls on the forehand of the Roman, causing by these changes of pace a remarkable number of unforced errors (47 for Berrettini, 21 for Djokovic). Also committing unforced errors perhaps due to nervousness, such as an easy smash on his serve when he was down 5-2, Berrettini was quickly overwhelmed in the first set.
He had to save a set point during the very long eighth game, which he ended up winning, forcing Djokovic to serve for the set. But Berrettini broke through by finally making a magnificent point on a forehand passing slipped along the line. And, against all odds, he pushed the Serbian to the decisive game, which he also won to everyone’s surprise on an ace. Confidence regained, Berrettini then delivered a real fight, even if Djokovic managed a double break entry in the second round.
“Nole” pulls out all the stops
Led 5-2, Berrettini took advantage of a slip from Djokovic to afford two break points. He managed to take his opponent’s serve on the second ball, coming back to 5-3, then saved two more set points on his serve to come back to 5-4. Once again serving to win the set, the Serbian gave himself three chances in a row (40-0). One was enough for him to tie one set everywhere. He quickly took Berrettini’s serve in the third set to lead 2-1 and retained his advantage until the end of the set.
In the fourth and final set, both players held their serve until 3-3, when “Nole” pulled out all the stops and made the decisive break. Berrettini will save two match points on his serve at 5-3, but, on one final send-off, he will give Djokovic the pleasure of joining Federer and Nadal at the top of world tennis.