Matteo Berrettini is the man who stands between Novak Djokovic, a record-setting 20th Grand Slam title and Matteo Berrettini. He remembers being amazed by Wimbledon as a child.
It was absurd for me. “It was just absurd. He said, “I don’t know.” Then he laughed and said, “And now I’m at the final.”
Berrettini, who is now 25, said, “So it’s all quite strange.” “But the beauty… is that now I am much more aware of my abilities. Because I’m here, I know that I can do it.
He is. The No. The No. 1 seed Djokovic will play in the 30th major final. Berrettini is 7th seed and will be the first to play in a major final since Adriano Panatta won 1976 French Open. It will also be the first Wimbledon men’s final with a female umpire. Marija Cicak from Croatia was given the task.
“My goal for Sunday is to play my game, keep my head up and go onto the court with my head high. It’s not enough to feel that this is a win. I don’t think I can be content with it. After beating Hubert Hurkacz, Berrettini stated that she always wants more. “But I must be proud of what it’s taking, because it’s hard work and not something that comes naturally.”
Berrettini’s huge serves, to the tune of 101 aces in the tournament and 95 out of 100 holds in it, could be the key to the title match against Djokovic’s best returns (he almost gets everything back and has won 29% or more of his opponents’ service games).
It could also come down to the way Berrettini handles this occasion.
Djokovic remembered what it was like to be in the final of a Slam. At the 2007 U.S. Open, he was just 20 years old and lost to Roger Federer, in three sets including two tiebreakers.
Djokovic stated, “I was so happy to be in finals.” I was close. Roger was a tough opponent, and I had a good match. However, I didn’t believe enough in my victory at times when it was close.
Djokovic isn’t worried about self-confidence these days. It shouldn’t be for Djokovic, a 34-year-old Serbian.
Berrettini is feeling good after he has won 11 matches on grass courts. He was also the first man since Boris Becker (1985) to win the trophy there. Imagine how Djokovic feels about himself right now.
These numbers and their dominance are truly amazing.
Since dropping his first set of the fortnight, he has won 18 of his previous sets.