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Wimbledon 2021: Novak Djokovic beats Matteo Berrettini for the 20th Grand Slam title

Event location: All Metro Club date: June 28-July 11
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, red buttons, TV connected and mobile app. Every detail Here

Novak Djokovic won his sixth Wimbledon title to match Roger Federer’s record and Rafael Nadal won the men’s 20 Grand Slam after battling to defeat Italian Matteo Berrettini.

The 34-year-old Serb won 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-3 in front of a passionate and noisy crowd of 15,000 at the Center Court.

Berrettini’s seventh seed, 25, received great support but was unable to hold his lead in his first major final.

Djokovic’s top class has now won all three men’s Grand Slam titles in 2021.

“Winning Wimbledon was always my biggest dream when I was a kid,” said the world number one, who dropped a set for a second time at SW19 Fifteen.

“A seven-year-old boy from Serbia built a Wimbledon trophy with improvised materials and standing here with a third real trophy is incredible. It’s amazing.”

Djokovic, who previously won the Australian Open and French Open, is the fifth man in history – and only second in the Open era after Rod Laver in 1969 – to win the first three majors of the season.

And with Djokovic holding the title of all his England Club, it is a step closer to becoming the second player to achieve a ‘Golden Slam’.

Only Germany’s Steffi Graf in 1988 ever won all four majors and the Olympics in a calendar year.

Berrettini saved two match points at 5-3 in the fourth set with a controlled volley and a 101mph forehand winner down the line. But the Italian was able to fend off the third as he cut a backhand into the net.

Djokovic collapsed on his back with his arms outstretched after he took a hard-fought fight, while Berrettini’s contrasting emotions on the opposite core – bending double over with his hands on his knees – illustrate the effort it would be put to defeat.

Cheers to an enthusiastic Court Center crowd, Djokovic joined his support team to celebrate before finding a few spare seconds to take a selfie with a young fan.

Novak Djokovic celebrates
Only Margaret Court (24), Serena Williams (23) and Steffi Graf (22) have more Grand Slam titles than Djokovic

‘The journey doesn’t end here’, promises Djokovic

Djokovic has made it no secret that he is motivated by making history, he has spent more weeks as the world’s number one than anyone else and he now targets most of the biggest titles.

When Djokovic won his first major at the Australian Open in 2008, Federer – who is nearly six years older than the Serbian – won 12 of his 20 majors. Djokovic was still stuck with one when Federer claimed his 16th in 2010.

Now, for the first time, Djokovic is level with Federer – and Nadal, who surpassed the Swiss in last year’s French Open.

“I have to pay tribute to Rafa and Roger. They are legends in our sport and the two greatest players I’ve met,” said Djokovic, who won his second Grand Slam in 2011 and now has won a total of 19 in the past decade. .

“They are the reason I am where I am today. They made me realize what I needed to do to become stronger – mentally, physically and tactically.

“The past 10 years have been an incredible journey that doesn’t stop here.”

Berrettini beat but not down

However, it wasn’t an easy afternoon against Berrettini’s in-form.

The world number nine warmed up for the club all of England by lifting the Queen’s title and extending her winning record on the British grass pitches in 11 games this summer by reaching the SW19 final.

There was a tense start from both men in a 100% fitness stadium, with two double faults by Djokovic in the opening match, proving that even the greatest of all time still suffered from nerves at the biggest on occasion.

After settling for a 3-1 break and then taking the 5-2 lead, Djokovic missed a set point in the eighth game and was able to serve in the next game as Berrettini broke back.

It felt as if Berrettini had to win the first set to have a chance to win and it seemed that the Court Center crowd also knew how important the tiebreak was for the Italian.

Leading 6-4, he landed a 138mph ace in the middle to take the opening set in an hour and 10 minutes.

Djokovic from the fight at the start of the second set. After breaking in the first game, he earned another in the third when the pressure came on Berrettini and he threw a forehand into the net on the third break point.

From a 5-1 lead, Djokovic was estimated to be back at 5-4 after Berrettini fend off three series points in the ninth game.

But unlike the first set, Djokovic had the comfort of a double break and on the second attempt he lovingly served at the level.

While the crowd applauded Berrettini, Djokovic got an early break in the third set that he refused to admit. The Serb responded to that break by poking his sleep to indicate his mental determination and clarity of thought at the most tense moment of the major matches.

A tight fourth set was on the line until Djokovic broke through 3-3 with a glorious cross-court forehand winner. The pressure worked on Berrettini, who made a double foul and gave Djokovic a lead he would not give up.

“I’m very happy with the final and hopefully it won’t be my last here or my last in a slam,” said Berrettini.

“I am so honored to be here and it has been a great run for two weeks.

“Also with [winning] Queen, I couldn’t ask for more, well, maybe a little more. “

Djokovic took tennis to another level ‘

Former UK issue Tim Henman on BBC television: “It was a really fantastic tournament and a very deserving winner. Djokovic had an incredible tournament, he came in as a big favorite and he put them on an absolute masterclass in the two weeks. Undoubtedly the best player won this competition. ”

“He talks about his hunger, desires and motivation, but there is no doubt that he wants to be the leader in that conversation when it comes to the number of Grand Slams. The Grand Slam calendar is definitely on the cards and is one of the biggest achievements “After the challenges of 2020 having the players back at the stadium, it’s a great way to finish.”

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli on BBC Radio 5 Live: “It is completely sensational that Novak was able to win the 20th Grand Slam. What a final – we were so lucky to see such a great level in both players. Berrettini pushed Djokovic – it took two players to get like a big fight Novak Djokovic just took tennis to another level. “

Six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker on BBC television: “It’s been three tough weeks, just playing and being in the hotel. You need great people around you and it’s good for Novak to show his appreciation for his team.”

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