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Djokovic Back in Wimbledon final to face Italy Berrettini

Djokovic Back in Wimbledon final  to face Italy  Berrettini

Novak Djokovic, Shapovalov, Matteo Berrettini, Berrettini

Djokovic Back in Wimbledon final to face Italy Berrettini

The Latest: Djokovic reaches 7th Wimbledon final Fri, 09 Jul 2021 11:00:00 -0700-WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — We know, of course, that Novak Djokovic can lose matches at Wimbledon, and he can lose at other Grand Slam tournaments, too …

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Italy’s Matteo Berrettini celebrates winning a point during the men’s singles semifinals match against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz reacts after losing a point to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini plays a return to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz plays a return to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini plays a return to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic watches her boyfriend Italy’s Matteo Berrettini play against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz celebrates winning the third set against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini plays a return to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz plays a return to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini celebrates after defeating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov celebrates winning a point against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini celebrates after defeating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini celebrates after defeating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic plays a return to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov serves to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic falls while playing against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov acknowledges the crowd after being defeated by Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning a point against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini celebrates winning a point during the men’s singles semifinals match against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz reacts after losing a point to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini plays a return to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz plays a return to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini plays a return to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic watches her boyfriend Italy’s Matteo Berrettini play against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz celebrates winning the third set against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini plays a return to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz plays a return to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini celebrates after defeating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov celebrates winning a point against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini celebrates after defeating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini celebrates after defeating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic plays a return to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov serves to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic falls while playing against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov acknowledges the crowd after being defeated by Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning a point against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The victories keep adding up for Novak Djokovic: 20 in a row at Wimbledon since the start of the 2018 tournament, 20 in a row in all Grand Slam matches since the start of this season.

Make both of those streaks reach 21 on Sunday, and Djokovic will accomplish something he’s been chasing for years: He would tie his rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with a 20th major championship, the most by a man in tennis history.

The top-seeded Djokovic worked his way in and out of trouble against a much younger, much-less-experienced opponent Friday until eliminating No. 10 Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5 to reach the final at the All England Club.

“At this stage of my career, Grand Slams are everything, really. They are the four events that count the most in our sport. I’ve been very privileged to make history of a sport that I truly love. It fills my heart every time that I hear there is something on the line that is historic. Obviously it inspires me, it motivates me,” said Djokovic, a 34-year-old from Serbia. “But at the same time, I have to balance it with trying to be present and in the moment and win only the next match.”

Each set of his semifinal was tight and intense. Each appeared to be within Shapovalov’s grasp — until it was in Djokovic’s.

“I don’t think that the scoreline says enough about the performance and about the match,” said Djokovic, who saved 5 of 5 break points in the second set, then 3 of 3 in the third.

Talking about Shapovalov, a 22-year-old from Canada, Djokovic told the capacity crowd at Centre Court: “We’re going to see a lot of him in the future, definitely.”

Djokovic is most definitely dominating the sport’s present.

If he can beat another new-to-these-stages foe, No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy, in Sunday’s final, Djokovic will collect a sixth championship at Wimbledon — his third straight.

And then there’s this: He already won the Australian Open in February and the French Open in June, so a Wimbledon triumph would put him three-quarters of the way to a calendar-year Grand Slam, with only the U.S. Open remaining. No man has pulled that off since Rod Laver in 1969.

First things first. This will be Djokovic’s 30th major final, Berrettini’s first. Much as it was Djokovic’s 41st major semifinal, Shapovalov’s first.

Cries of “Vai!” (Go!), “Forza!” (Let’s go!) and even “Andiamo, amore mio!” (Let’s go, my love!) rang through the All England Club’s main stadium earlier, supporting Berrettini in his native tongue on his way to becoming Italy’s first Grand Slam male finalist in 45 years.

With booming serves delivering 22 aces, and powerful forehands helping compile a total of 60 winners, the No. 7-seeded Berrettini used an 11-game run to grab a big lead and then held on to beat No. 14 Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-4 in the first semifinal.

“Obviously, the job is not done yet. I want to get the trophy now that I’m here,” said the 25-year-old Berrettini, who lost his only previous Slam semifinal, at the 2019 U.S. Open. “But, just, it’s a really unbelievable feeling.”

He’s now on an 11-match winning streak on grass courts, including a title at the Queen’s Club tuneup last month, when he became the first man since Boris Becker in 1985 to win the trophy in his debut at that event. Becker went on to triumph at Wimbledon that year.

A key moment in the semifinal, oddly enough, came less than 20 minutes in, when Hurkacz was ahead 3-2 and held a break point. That was erased by Berrettini — no surprise — thanks to a service winner at 130 mph, punctuated by one of his many yells of “Si!”

From there, Hurkacz morphed from the guy coming off the biggest wins of his career — against his idol, eight-time Wimbledon champion Federer, and No. 2 Daniil Medvedev — back to the player who arrived in England on a six-match losing streak.

Berrettini (almost) couldn’t miss. Hurkacz (almost) couldn’t connect.

By the finish, Berrettini had 24 winners off his forehand alone, and merely 18 unforced errors. Hurkacz’s totals? Just 27 winners — four on forehands — and 26 unforced errors.

When Hurkacz got broken for the first time, the 24-year-old from Poland sat for the ensuing changeover and, between bites of a banana, motioned to his American coach, Craig Boynton, to adjust the seating arrangements in their guest box.

As if that were the issue.

Cheered from the stands by his girlfriend, Ajla Tomljanovic, who made it to the quarterfinals this week, and his parents and brother — mom captured his on-court interview with her cellphone — Berrettini was two points from winning in the third set.

But Hurkacz extended the contest, before Berrettini asserted himself again.

Shapovalov kept pushing Djokovic to the brink, but couldn’t quite get the job done.

Djokovic dropped his opening set this fortnight to British teen Jack Draper — and has won all 18 since.

Djokovic’s 6-0 record head-to-head entering Friday did not portend a fair fight. But Shapovalov is a lefty with a vibrant, sometimes violent, swing, including when it comes to his one-handed backhand. There’s hardly a hint of subtlety, nary a trace of playing it safe.

That backhand forced a Djokovic error to conclude a 15-stroke exchange that provided Shapovalov with a break and a 2-1 edge. He stretched that to 5-3 and was two points from taking the set in the next game, but couldn’t get closer.

Serving for the set at 5-4, Shapovalov faltered for the first time — pushed by Djokovic’s indefatigable defense.

Djokovic broke, then was better in the tiebreaker. Not perfect, but better.

Mostly playing it safe and letting Shapovalov err worked just fine. Shapovalov double-faulted to end that set. He did so again to get broken to trail 6-5 in the second. And again in the game that left him behind 6-5 in the third.

By then, Djokovic was punching the air and shouting, knowing the match’s end, and another final, was near. ___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Back in Wimbledon final, Djokovic to face Italy's Berrettini Fri, 09 Jul 2021 11:00:00 -0700-7:25 p.m.. Novak Djokovic is into his seventh Wimbledon final. The top-ranked Serb outplayed No. 10-seeded Denis Shapovalov on the key points to win …

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A ball boy holds a tennis ball during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini plays a return to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini celebrates winning a game against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic plays a return to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Britain’s Duke of Kent sits in the Royal Box on Centre Court and watches the men’s singles fourth round match on day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday, July 5, 2021.

Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova, left, and Elena Vesnina celebrate winning the first set during the women’s doubles third round match against Coco Gauff and Caty McNally of the U.S. on day eight of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

A ball boy holds a tennis ball during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini plays a return to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini celebrates winning a game against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic plays a return to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during the men’s singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021.

Britain’s Duke of Kent sits in the Royal Box on Centre Court and watches the men’s singles fourth round match on day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Monday, July 5, 2021.

Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova, left, and Elena Vesnina celebrate winning the first set during the women’s doubles third round match against Coco Gauff and Caty McNally of the U.S. on day eight of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The Latest on Wimbledon (all times local):

8:05 p.m.

Unseeded Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina saved three match points to reach the women’s doubles final at Wimbledon.

The Russian duo came from 5-2 down in the final set to beat Caroline Dolehide of the United States and Storm Sanders of Australia 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-5.

They will face third-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium and Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan, who defeated Japanese duo Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. The win means Mertens will return to No. 1 in the women’s doubles rankings after the tournament.

Mertens is looking for her third Grand Slam doubles title and first at Wimbledon. Hsieh has won two Wimbledon doubles titles, along with the French Open in 2014.

Vesnina is looking for a fourth Grand Slam doubles title and second at Wimbledon. Kudermetova will be playing in her first Grand Slam final.

7:25 p.m.

Novak Djokovic is into his seventh Wimbledon final.

The top-ranked Serb outplayed No. 10-seeded Denis Shapovalov on the key points to win their semifinal 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5.

The two-time defending champion will face No. 7 Matteo Berrettini in Sunday’s final.

Shapovalov repeatedly put pressure on Djokovic but faltered at the crucial moments. He failed to serve out the first set at 5-3 and then double-faulted on set point in the tiebreaker.

Djokovic saved all five break points he faced in the second set before Shapovalov double-faulted again to hand him a 6-5 lead.

Djokovic broke again for 6-5 in the third set and served out the match at love.

A seventh final at the All England Club ties Djokovic for second on the all-time list, equaling Boris Becker, Arthur Gore and Pete Sampras. Roger Federer has played in 12 Wimbledon finals, winning eight.

Djokovic has five Wimbledon titles.

4:45 p.m.

The Duke of Kent is stepping down as president of the All England Club after more than 50 years in the role.

The club said this Wimbledon would be the last for the duke, who became president in 1969. That year he presented the trophies to Rod Laver and Ann Jones

The 85-year-old duke, also known as Prince Edward, is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and regularly sits in the Royal Box on Centre Court during matches.

He said that “to have seen this tournament, and the game of tennis, grow and inspire generations over the span of five decades has been an extraordinary experience, and I am incredibly proud to have been part of it.”

4:15 p.m.

Matteo Berrettini has become the first Italian man to reach the Wimbledon final after beating Hubert Hurkacz in four sets.

The seventh-seeded Berrettini used his big serve and powerful forehand to win 6-3, 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-4.

Berrettini won 11 straight games from 3-2 down in the first set, taking full advantage of a shaky performance from the 14th-seeded Hurkacz. The Polish player beat Roger Federer in straight sets in the quarterfinals but didn’t hit a single groundstroke winner against Berrettini until midway through the third set.

Hurkacz recovered to win the third-set tiebreaker, only to be broken in the opening game of the fourth.

The last Italian man to reach any Grand Slam final was Adriano Panatta, who won the French Open in 1976.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic was playing No. 10 Denis Shapovalov in the second semifinal.

3:40 p.m.

ESPN and the BBC have extended their agreements with the All England Club for Wimbledon broadcasting rights.

ESPN said it signed a 12-year extension to continue showing the grass-court Grand Slam through 2035.

The BBC signed a three-year extension for domestic broadcasting rights in Britain through 2027. Financial details of the deals were not disclosed.

The Tennis Channel also signed a 12-year extension of its deal to show a daily highlights package from Wimbledon. The new agreement runs through 2036.

——

1 p.m.

Novak Djokovic will try to reach his seventh Wimbledon final when he plays No. 10 Denis Shapovalov of Canada on Centre Court.

That would put Djokovic tied for second on the all-time list, equaling Boris Becker, Arthur Gore and Pete Sampras. Roger Federer has played in 12 Wimbledon finals, winning eight. Djokovic has five Wimbledon titles.

The other three semifinalists are playing in the last four at the All England Club for the first time.

In the early match, No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy takes on No. 14 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland. Both are trying to become the first man from their country to reach the Wimbledon final.

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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– July 9, 2021
Novak Djokovic, Shapovalov, Matteo Berrettini, Berrettini

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