Follow all the action as Novak Djokovic faces Matteo Berrettini in the men’s final at Wimbledon.
The defending champion knows victory this afternoon will not only see him equal Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s men’s grand slam record but also take him one step closer to completing a Golden Slam. The world No 1 has lost just one set all tournament, against Britain’s Jack Draper in the opening round, and is bidding to retain the title for a third tournament in succession. “[Berrettini] is in great form. He’s serving big, playing big,” said Djokovic. “So it’s going to be a very tough match I think for both of us. But I’m looking forward to a great battle.”
Berrettini, who won the Queen’s Club Championships in the lead-up to Wimbledon, has been in tremendous form and defeated Roger Federer’s conqueror, Hubert Hurkacz, in four sets in the previous round. The first Italian to reach the Wimbledon final, his serve has at times been unstoppable, already delivering over 100 aces in the tournament, and that weapon will present difficult even for Djokovic. “My first final in Wimbledon, it’s just crazy to think about it,” said Berrettini. “I think I never dreamed about this because it was too much for a dream.” Follow all the action live below:
WIMBLEDON 2021: DJOKOVIC SHOWS CLASS AGAINST SHAPOVALOV
Djokovic had enjoyed a gentle draw but faced by far his toughest test in the semi-finals against Denis Shapovalov. The exhilarating Canadian forced 11 break points on the Serbian’s serve and was able to dictate rallies with his powerful groundstrokes but, in the key moments, his nerves deserted him and Djokovic raised his game to close out a 7-6 7-5 7-5 victory that was trickier than the scoreline suggests. If you missed the highly entertaining match, check out the highlights below:
WIMBLEDON 2021: BERRETTINI HOPES FOR HISTORIC ITALIAN SUNDAY
Berrettini has already become the first Italian finalist at Wimbledon but, as the Azzurri take on England at Wembley in the Euro 2020 final, the 25-year-old is dreaming of completing one half of what could be a legendary sporting day in the country’s history.
“My first final in Wimbledon, it’s just crazy to think about it,” he said. “I think I never dreamed about this because it was too much for a dream. Obviously for Italian people in general, it’s going to be tough Sunday. But I think we deserve it. I think it’s going to be a special Sunday for all of us. It’s great day, great sport day. I’m really happy that together with football tennis is now one of the biggest sports in Italy.”
WIMBLEDON 2021: DJOKOVIC ON PRECIPICE OF HISTORY
Djokovic has made no secret about his ambition to win a Golden Slam, but victory today would already see him match Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s men’s grand slam record of 20 titles.
“It would mean everything,” he said. “That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m playing. I imagined myself being in a position to fight for another grand slam trophy prior to coming to London. I put myself in a very good position.
“Anything is possible in the final. Obviously experience is on my side. But Berrettini has been winning a lot of matches on grass courts this year, winning Queen’s. He’s in great form. He’s serving big, playing big. So it’s going to be a very tough match I think for both of us. But I’m looking forward to a great battle.”
WIMBLEDON 2021: DJOKOVIC VS BERRETTINI
Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the men’s final at Wimbledon as Novak Djokovic faces Matteo Berrettini.
Djokovic, the world No 1 and defending champion, can equal Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s grand slam record with victory, while a third successive Wimbledon crown would also take him one step closer to the Golden Slam – a feat never previously achieved in the men’s game. The Serbian has enjoyed a somewhat gentle draw but raised his game exactly when required to stifle Denis Shapovalov in a tougher test in the semi-finals.
Berrettini, meanwhile, has already made history by becoming Italy’s first grand slam finalist at Wimbledon. The Queen’s Club champion is riding the greatest wave of momentum of his career and showed few signs of nerves in a comprehensive victory over Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-finals.
The pair have only played each other twice before, most recently in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, with Djokovic victorious on both occasions.
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