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Djokovic It Novak vs Matteo Berrettini in Wimbledon Final

Djokovic It  Novak  vs Matteo Berrettini in Wimbledon Final

Novak Djokovic, Shapovalov, Matteo Berrettini, Berrettini, Denis Shapovalov

Djokovic It Novak vs Matteo Berrettini in Wimbledon Final

Back in Wimbledon final, Djokovic to face Italy's Berrettini Fri, 09 Jul 2021 11:00:00 -0700-Djokovic, the world's top player, has a chance to get one title closer to a Grand Slam. His Italian opponent has the opportunity to play spoiler.

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It’s Novak Djokovic vs. Matteo Berrettini in Wimbledon Final

July 09, 2021

Djokovic, the world’s top player, has a chance to reach 20 Grand Slam titles to tie Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. His Italian opponent has the opportunity to play spoiler.

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Novak Djokovic celebrated after winning a point against Denis Shapovalov in the men’s semifinal on Friday.Credit…Alberto Pezzali/Associated Press
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July 9, 2021Updated 7:27 p.m. ET

WIMBLEDON, England — Denis Shapovalov was serving for the first set in the semifinals of Wimbledon on Friday, and Novak Djokovic was sliding to his right, bent forward with his left hand on the Centre Court dirt.

The court was open. All Shapovalov had to do was find it with his forehand.

Instead, he overhit the shot — overcooked it, as the British like to say — striking it just a bit long. Djokovic would soon break serve.

It was just one moment in a three-set match, and if you had not been watching Djokovic for 15 years, it would have been tempting to attribute the moment to luck.

But such big-point turnarounds happen for him far too often to qualify as happenstance. Even when he is out of position, way out of position, Djokovic’s defensive wizardry and mental fortitude make his opponents think they have to go for more — which, so often, is too much.

Before you know it, he has won again.

“Against Novak, you’re going to have some chances that you’re not going to get,” said Shapovalov, his eyes still red from crying after his 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5 defeat. “He does a really good job of putting pressure when it’s needed, and you feel it exactly in those moments. He steps up.”

On Sunday, Djokovic will try to win his 20th Grand Slam singles title, tying the men’s record shared by his two career-long rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“Well, it would mean everything,” Djokovic said. “That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m playing.”

But after years of facing off against Federer and Nadal with Wimbledon trophies on the line, Djokovic will meet a fresh challenge in this edition of the world’s oldest major tennis tournament.

This time, it has been Djokovic against the newcomers, and after holding off the inspired yet erratic 22-year-old Shapovalov, he will face the powerful 25-year-old Matteo Berrettini in the final.

Djokovic has dropped just one set so far, and that was the first set he played — against the British wild card Jack Draper on opening day, when the grass was still lush along the baseline.

But it has turned to dust at this stage, along with nearly everyone’s hopes of pulling an upset. The only threat remaining is the No. 7 seed Berrettini, a strapping, tattooed Italian with swagger in his step and his serve.

Matteo Berrettini defeated Hubert Hurkacz to advance to the men’s singles final on Sunday against Djokovic.Credit…Alberto Pezzali/Associated Press

If Djokovic defeats him, he will not only equal Federer and Nadal. He will remain on track for the so-called Golden Slam, which requires a player to win all four Grand Slam tournaments and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. Only Steffi Graf, in 1988, has done it.

This will be Djokovic’s 30th Grand Slam singles final. It will be the first for Berrettini, who defeated No. 14 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, 6-3, 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-4, in Friday’s opening semifinal.

Berrettini is also the first Italian, man or woman, to reach a Wimbledon singles final.

“I think I never dreamed about this, because it was too much for a dream,” Berrettini said.

A late bloomer who was not a dominant junior, he needed time to grow into his power game. But his run hardly comes as a shock at this stage, not after he reached the U.S. Open semifinals in 2019, not after he pushed Djokovic hard in a four-set quarterfinal at last month’s French Open, a match that left Djokovic howling in an all-but-empty stadium after closing out the win.

Berrettini then won the grass court warm-up event at the Queen’s Club, which has often been a harbinger of success at Wimbledon.

At 6-foot-5, he has an explosive serve and one of the heaviest forehands in a sport that is full of heavy forehands. But as he demonstrated against Hurkacz, he has improved his mobility and backhand — both his blocked, two-handed service return and his one-handed slice.

“Anything is possible in the finals,” Djokovic said. “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.”

Hurkacz, an aggressive player with a game well suited to grass, upset No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round and Federer in the quarterfinals, winning the final set by 6-0 against the eight-time Wimbledon champion.

Berrettini won the second set by the same score on Friday, and though Hurkacz did lift his game and push the semifinal to a fourth set, he could never find a way to break Berrettini’s serve. Berrettini finished with 22 aces and 60 winners in total, and just 18 unforced errors.

“Matteo played pretty great,” Hurkacz said. “I mean he served bombs. He really didn’t do many mistakes throughout the whole four sets. I mean if he continues to play like this, he has really a big chance in the final.”

The problem for so long for so many has been summoning such a performance against Djokovic, who has grown into the game’s supreme big-match player.

He bends as no one else has ever bent in men’s tennis, contorting his angular frame into positions worthy of Cirque du Soleil. On Friday, he continued to struggle with his footing, as he has throughout the tournament, falling repeatedly. By the end, with his white shirt covered in dirt, he looked like someone who had just come out of the backyard after roughhousing with his young children (he and his wife, Jelena, have two).

But finishing Djokovic off is one of the toughest tasks in sports. Shapovalov was the latest to take his swings at it. The Canadian left-hander is one of the flashiest players in tennis, and he came out ripping first serves and airborne groundstrokes, forcing Djokovic out of his defensive comfort zones.

But Djokovic is never more dangerous than when he is cornered. After Shapovalov, in his first Grand Slam semifinal, faltered trying to serve out the first set, Djokovic took command of the tiebreaker. Shapovalov failed to win a point that he served, and he finished with a double fault.

Denis Shapovalov continued to impress with his easy power and stylish game but continued to fail to win the points that mattered most.Credit…Neil Hall/EPA, via Shutterstock

It was a reminder of the past, when Djokovic dominated the tiebreakers during his five-set victory over Federer in the 2019 Wimbledon final. It was also a sign of things to come, as Shapovalov continued to impress with his easy power and stylish game but continued to fail to win the points that mattered most.

He converted just one of 11 break points against the No. 1 seed, and though he did a fine job of keeping his emotions in check for most of the match, by the final stages he was shouting toward his team in the players’ box and mocking his own errors.

Djokovic can do that to an opponent, even a very talented one, as he bends but refuses to break. And though Shapovalov received a loud ovation from the Centre Court crowd after the match, he was already in tears during the handshake, and he kept crying after packing his bags and heading for the exit.

Djokovic, who endured setbacks in the early stages of his career, was in no mood to rub it in. After predicting big things for Shapovalov in his on-court interview, Djokovic paid him a visit in the clubhouse.

“He just told me knows how difficult it is for me right now; he told me that everything will come,” Shapovalov said. “It’s big coming from someone like him. He doesn’t have to do this. It just shows the type of person he is.”

On Sunday, Djokovic will get his latest chance to show what kind of champion he is. He has spent much of his career chasing Federer’s and Nadal’s achievements, and after passing Federer this year for the most total weeks at No. 1, and becoming the first man to beat Nadal twice at the French Open, he can match them with No. 20.

He would not mind a bit more crowd support than usual.

“People like to see someone win who is an underdog,” Djokovic said. “But hopefully people can also recognize the importance of this match for me, the history that is on the line.”

Djokovic, the world’s top player, has a chance to reach 20 Grand Slam titles to tie Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. His Italian opponent has the opportunity to play spoiler.

image
Novak Djokovic celebrated after winning a point against Denis Shapovalov in the men’s semifinal on Friday.Credit…Alberto Pezzali/Associated Press
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July 9, 2021Updated 7:27 p.m. ET

WIMBLEDON, England — Denis Shapovalov was serving for the first set in the semifinals of Wimbledon on Friday, and Novak Djokovic was sliding to his right, bent forward with his left hand on the Centre Court dirt.

The court was open. All Shapovalov had to do was find it with his forehand.

Instead, he overhit the shot — overcooked it, as the British like to say — striking it just a bit long. Djokovic would soon break serve.

It was just one moment in a three-set match, and if you had not been watching Djokovic for 15 years, it would have been tempting to attribute the moment to luck.

But such big-point turnarounds happen for him far too often to qualify as happenstance. Even when he is out of position, way out of position, Djokovic’s defensive wizardry and mental fortitude make his opponents think they have to go for more — which, so often, is too much.

Before you know it, he has won again.

“Against Novak, you’re going to have some chances that you’re not going to get,” said Shapovalov, his eyes still red from crying after his 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5 defeat. “He does a really good job of putting pressure when it’s needed, and you feel it exactly in those moments. He steps up.”

On Sunday, Djokovic will try to win his 20th Grand Slam singles title, tying the men’s record shared by his two career-long rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“Well, it would mean everything,” Djokovic said. “That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m playing.”

But after years of facing off against Federer and Nadal with Wimbledon trophies on the line, Djokovic will meet a fresh challenge in this edition of the world’s oldest major tennis tournament.

This time, it has been Djokovic against the newcomers, and after holding off the inspired yet erratic 22-year-old Shapovalov, he will face the powerful 25-year-old Matteo Berrettini in the final.

Djokovic has dropped just one set so far, and that was the first set he played — against the British wild card Jack Draper on opening day, when the grass was still lush along the baseline.

But it has turned to dust at this stage, along with nearly everyone’s hopes of pulling an upset. The only threat remaining is the No. 7 seed Berrettini, a strapping, tattooed Italian with swagger in his step and his serve.

Matteo Berrettini defeated Hubert Hurkacz to advance to the men’s singles final on Sunday against Djokovic.Credit…Alberto Pezzali/Associated Press

If Djokovic defeats him, he will not only equal Federer and Nadal. He will remain on track for the so-called Golden Slam, which requires a player to win all four Grand Slam tournaments and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. Only Steffi Graf, in 1988, has done it.

This will be Djokovic’s 30th Grand Slam singles final. It will be the first for Berrettini, who defeated No. 14 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, 6-3, 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-4, in Friday’s opening semifinal.

Berrettini is also the first Italian, man or woman, to reach a Wimbledon singles final.

“I think I never dreamed about this, because it was too much for a dream,” Berrettini said.

A late bloomer who was not a dominant junior, he needed time to grow into his power game. But his run hardly comes as a shock at this stage, not after he reached the U.S. Open semifinals in 2019, not after he pushed Djokovic hard in a four-set quarterfinal at last month’s French Open, a match that left Djokovic howling in an all-but-empty stadium after closing out the win.

Berrettini then won the grass court warm-up event at the Queen’s Club, which has often been a harbinger of success at Wimbledon.

At 6-foot-5, he has an explosive serve and one of the heaviest forehands in a sport that is full of heavy forehands. But as he demonstrated against Hurkacz, he has improved his mobility and backhand — both his blocked, two-handed service return and his one-handed slice.

“Anything is possible in the finals,” Djokovic said. “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.”

Hurkacz, an aggressive player with a game well suited to grass, upset No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round and Federer in the quarterfinals, winning the final set by 6-0 against the eight-time Wimbledon champion.

Berrettini won the second set by the same score on Friday, and though Hurkacz did lift his game and push the semifinal to a fourth set, he could never find a way to break Berrettini’s serve. Berrettini finished with 22 aces and 60 winners in total, and just 18 unforced errors.

“Matteo played pretty great,” Hurkacz said. “I mean he served bombs. He really didn’t do many mistakes throughout the whole four sets. I mean if he continues to play like this, he has really a big chance in the final.”

The problem for so long for so many has been summoning such a performance against Djokovic, who has grown into the game’s supreme big-match player.

He bends as no one else has ever bent in men’s tennis, contorting his angular frame into positions worthy of Cirque du Soleil. On Friday, he continued to struggle with his footing, as he has throughout the tournament, falling repeatedly. By the end, with his white shirt covered in dirt, he looked like someone who had just come out of the backyard after roughhousing with his young children (he and his wife, Jelena, have two).

But finishing Djokovic off is one of the toughest tasks in sports. Shapovalov was the latest to take his swings at it. The Canadian left-hander is one of the flashiest players in tennis, and he came out ripping first serves and airborne groundstrokes, forcing Djokovic out of his defensive comfort zones.

But Djokovic is never more dangerous than when he is cornered. After Shapovalov, in his first Grand Slam semifinal, faltered trying to serve out the first set, Djokovic took command of the tiebreaker. Shapovalov failed to win a point that he served, and he finished with a double fault.

Denis Shapovalov continued to impress with his easy power and stylish game but continued to fail to win the points that mattered most.Credit…Neil Hall/EPA, via Shutterstock

It was a reminder of the past, when Djokovic dominated the tiebreakers during his five-set victory over Federer in the 2019 Wimbledon final. It was also a sign of things to come, as Shapovalov continued to impress with his easy power and stylish game but continued to fail to win the points that mattered most.

He converted just one of 11 break points against the No. 1 seed, and though he did a fine job of keeping his emotions in check for most of the match, by the final stages he was shouting toward his team in the players’ box and mocking his own errors.

Djokovic can do that to an opponent, even a very talented one, as he bends but refuses to break. And though Shapovalov received a loud ovation from the Centre Court crowd after the match, he was already in tears during the handshake, and he kept crying after packing his bags and heading for the exit.

Djokovic, who endured setbacks in the early stages of his career, was in no mood to rub it in. After predicting big things for Shapovalov in his on-court interview, Djokovic paid him a visit in the clubhouse.

“He just told me knows how difficult it is for me right now; he told me that everything will come,” Shapovalov said. “It’s big coming from someone like him. He doesn’t have to do this. It just shows the type of person he is.”

On Sunday, Djokovic will get his latest chance to show what kind of champion he is. He has spent much of his career chasing Federer’s and Nadal’s achievements, and after passing Federer this year for the most total weeks at No. 1, and becoming the first man to beat Nadal twice at the French Open, he can match them with No. 20.

He would not mind a bit more crowd support than usual.

“People like to see someone win who is an underdog,” Djokovic said. “But hopefully people can also recognize the importance of this match for me, the history that is on the line.”


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It's Novak Djokovic vs. Matteo Berrettini in Wimbledon Final Fri, 09 Jul 2021 11:00:00 -0700-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.

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Back in Wimbledon final, Djokovic to face Italy’s Berrettini

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

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, Denis Shapovalov

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