Novak Djokovic won his 20th Grand Slam championship on Sunday, defeating Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final, tied Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic, the world No. 1, won his third All England Club title in a row and his sixth overall.
He now has nine Australian Open wins, three US Open titles, and two French Open trophies, tying him with two competitors for the most majors won by a man in tennis history.
Since Rod Laver in 1969, the 34-year-old Serbian is the only guy to win the first three major titles of a season.
At the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 30, he can go for a calendar-year Grand Slam for the first time since Rod Laver did it 52 years ago.
This was Djokovic’s 30th major final — only Federer has played in more, with 31 — and Berrettini’s first, since the 25-year-old Italian was seeded No. 7.
Both players showed indications of nervousness in the first game. But especially Djokovic, who contributed two double-faults to the half-dozen total unforced errors, compared to zero wins for either.
He faced a break point but stayed calm and held, and, as was the case in every set, it was Djokovic who seized the lead by breaking Berrettini’s fast serve.
Berrettini enters the event with a tournament-high 101 aces, and his game is focuses around easy points off the serve and quick-strike forehands, earning him the nickname “Hammer.”
Line judges twisted to move their heads out of harm’s way as a result of those tremendous strokes.
Djokovic would occasionally kneel and raise his racket as if it were a shield to deflect serves targeted at his body.
It’s not often that an opponent returns a serve at 137 mph and wins the game, but Djokovic did it at least twice.
And Berrettini’s powerful groundstrokes, which he can drive past most other players with his 6-foot-5, barrel-chested frame, kept coming back off Djokovic’s racket.
That’s what Djokovic does: he makes his opponents work extremely hard to win even a single point, let alone a game, set, or match.
Djokovic led 4-1 in the first set, 4-0 in the second, and 3-1 in the third, so this one could have been over much sooner.
But he stumbled in ways he rarely does in the first set, squandering a set point and being broken when serving for the match at 5-3.
They were level at 3-3 in the tiebreaker. But Berrettini won three of the next four points with forehands and sealed the victory with a 138 mph ace.
He strutted to the switch, and many in the approximately 15,000-person crowd stood to join him in celebration.
But Novak Djokovic is a champion, and he turned things around and worked his way back to the point where he was on his back on the court, soaking in the enthusiasm of the fans.
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