Novak Djokovic has equalled Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s document of 20 Grand Slam titles by beating Matteo Berrettini within the Wimbledon Males’s closing.
The Serb claimed his third consecutive title this yr by defeating Berrettini on Centre Courtroom 6-7 (4) 6-Four 6-Four 6-Three as he hunts a Golden Slam.
Federer had 16 titles when Djokovic received his second in 2011 however over the past decade the Serbian has hunted down his nice rivals to attain what had regarded inconceivable, and the world primary doesn’t appear more likely to cease there.
His hard-fought triumph towards Italian Berrettini, who acquitted himself very properly in his first slam closing, made him the primary man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the primary three titles of the yr.
He has already made it recognized he’s chasing the Golden Slam – all 4 slam titles and an Olympic singles gold medal in a single yr, which solely Steffi Graf has ever managed beforehand – and it’s more and more laborious to see who can cease him.
Berrettini gave it a great go and, regardless of heavy strapping on his left thigh, received the primary set, however he was unable to develop into the primary Italian winner of this massive London closing.
Djokovic, who has now received three consecutive Wimbledon titles and 6 in complete, has been very open about his ambition to make historical past within the sport he has cherished since first selecting up a racket as a small boy however which has not at all times reciprocated.
This was arguably the most important match of his profession from that perspective and the nerves have been all too evident in his first three service video games as he hit three double faults and struggled to raise his second serve above 80mph.
However Berrettini was not free sufficient to take benefit and shortly discovered himself 5-2 behind and observing a fast first-set deficit.
A change of momentum arrived after an extended eighth sport, which Berrettini lastly held after eight deuces, saving one set level.
Djokovic nonetheless had an opportunity to serve it out however Berrettini was now capable of transfer up a gear, unleashing an enormous forehand on the primary level, and, with the highest seed nonetheless considerably shackled by stress, his opponent seized his second.
A forehand winner pushed down the road on break level was greeted by an enormous roar from the group, who have been predominantly behind the underdog, and so they have been on their toes when Berrettini received the tie-break.
He thumped his forehand, caught Djokovic out with the velocity of his motion, after which took his first set level with a 138mph ace.
Djokovic needed to come from two units down towards Stefanos Tsitsipas within the French Open closing final month however he was straight on the offensive right here, breaking Berrettini twice in a row to guide 4-0.
Djokovic had discovered his serve and a smoothness on his groundstrokes that spelled massive hassle for Berrettini.
The group was ready for a 3rd set however Berrettini livened them up by successful a degree with a between-the-legs lob after which once more broke Djokovic when he served for the set.
Three set factors got here and went for Djokovic on his opponent’s serve however this time he shut down the comeback with a assured maintain to like.
Umpire Marija Cicak, the primary girl to sit down within the chair for a males’s singles closing at Wimbledon, needed to name for quiet within the third set as sections of the group engaged in a verbal battle in assist of their favourites.
Djokovic whipped up his followers after breaking for 2-1 after which saving two break factors at 2-3, with which Berrettini’s probabilities within the set disappeared.
The benefit was with Djokovic however he was annoyed by uncommon errors at tight moments and there was nonetheless a sense it will not take a lot for the match to show once more.
At 2-Three within the fourth set, Djokovic discovered himself down 15-30 however performed an unbelievable defensive level earlier than successful it with a forehand, holding his finger to the sky as the group rose in appreciation.
Berrettini shot an exasperated look in the direction of his workforce, and moments later he was down a break after double-faulting.
Djokovic bolted in the direction of the end line, clinching victory on his third match level when Berrettini netted a backhand and falling to the courtroom in triumph.