London – Novak Djokovic Link Roger Federer And the Rafael Nadal By claiming his 20th Grand Slam title on Sunday, he came back to defeat Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final.
Top-ranked Djokovic claimed his third consecutive All England Club title and sixth overall.
He adds that he has won nine Australian Open titles, three at the US Open, and two at the French Open, equaling his rivals for the most tournaments won by a man in tennis history.
“I have to pay tribute to the memory of Rafa and Roger,” Djokovic said during a post-match interview on the field. “They are legends of our sport and they are the most important players I have faced in my career. I believe they are the reason I am to where I am today. They helped me realize what I need to do in order to improve, become stronger mentally, physically and tactically.”
The 34-year-old Serbian is the only man since 1969 to win his first three major championships in a single season. He can target calendar year Grand Slam tournaments – something he last accomplished when Rod Laver did it 52 years ago – at the US Open, which begins on August 30.
“I can certainly imagine that happening,” Djokovic said. “I will definitely give it a chance. I’m in good shape and obviously playing well. Playing the best tennis at Grand Slams is the top priority I have right now at this point in my career. So let’s just let it continue.”
Federer, who lost in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year, and Nadal, who withdrew before the tournament, encouraged Djokovic on Twitter.
Congratulations to Novak on your 20th major. I am proud to have had the opportunity to play in a special era for the tennis champions. Great performance, well done!
– Roger Federer July 11, 2021
Congratulations Tweet embed for this amazing achievement. 20 Grand Slam titles is huge and it’s amazing that we are 3 players limited to this. Well done, and once again, congratulations to you and your team on this!Tweet embed
– Rafa Nadal July 11, 2021
It was Djokovic’s 30th final – among men, only Federer played 31 more – and a first for Brittini, the 25-year-old from Italy and seeded No. 7.
“Hopefully this won’t be my last,” Brittney said.
It was a big sporting day in London for the Italians: their national football team faced England at Wembley in the European Championship final at night.
With Maria Cicak, the first female referee for the men’s final in a tournament that began in 1877, she began playing at Center Court where the sun rarely appeared in two weeks, and the sky was visible among the clouds.
The opening match showed signs of acrimony on both sides, but especially Djokovic, whose pair of double faults contributed to half a dozen unforced errors combined, compared with no winners for either. He faced a break point but fixed himself and held on there, and as with every set, it was Djokovic who took the lead with Berrettini’s quick serve.
Berrettini came with 101 aces in the tournament, and that’s where his game was built: free serve points and fast-hit forehands that earned him the nickname “Hammer”.
These powerful blows caused the line umpires to mumble to keep their heads out of harm’s way. Djokovic occasionally shielded himself, crouching and raising his racket as if it were a shield to fend off the blows to his body.
Not many opponents come back at 137 mph and end up winning the point, but Djokovic did at least twice. And the big groundstrokes that Berrettini, who is 6-foot-5, can outlast most other players, kept falling off Djokovic’s racket.
That’s what Djokovic does: He forces enemies to work hard to win every point, let alone a match, a set, a match.
In fact, this could have ended much sooner: Djokovic led 4-1 in the first set, 4-0 in the second and 3-1 in the third. But in the beginning, in particular, he stumbled in ways he rarely does, missing a point and breaking when he served for it at 5-3.
In the tiebreak that followed, they tied by three, but Brittney won three of the next four with forehand kicks, closing them in with a 138 mph header.
He strutted until the change, and many in the full house of about 15,000 rose to celebrate with him.
Chants “Ma-tte-o!” Rang early in the third set. Others quickly responded with Djokovic’s “No-le!” Later in the group, Djokovic held his racket to his ear and pointed for more support.
But Djokovic is nothing if not a fighter – he turned things around from two sets in the French Open final last month – and made his way back into that set, which ended with Djokovic on his back on the court, basking in the sun. The crowd cheers.
There were some magical moments, points that contained the brilliance of both of them.
On one, Berrettini somehow came with kicks from the back into the net, between the legs which Djokovic somehow tracked back to hit the field, but ended up in the net.
In another match, which lasted 15 strikes, Djokovic slipped into a defensive backhand that held the point, and after Berrettini responded with a choppy shot, sprinted forward to take the win. Djokovic raised his index finger – as if to remind everyone, “I’m No. 1!” – And Berrettini turned his racket on the end, I grabbed him and smiled.
What more could he do?
It seems that no one can do much against Djokovic.
He’s amassed eight of the past 12 major titles – all since he turned 30, the most by a man over that age.
And for all the questions in recent years about when the younger generation will step forward and halt the progress of the Big Three, it turns out Djokovic is stopping the kids on his own.
In the three majors this year, it was 21-0. In the finals, beat a trio of 20-somethings ranked in the ATP Top 10: 25 Daniel Medvedev In the Australian Open hard court, the 22-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas On red clay at the French Open and now Brittany on the grass.
“He’s writing the history of the sport, so he deserves all the credit,” Brittini said.
On Sunday, Djokovic made only 21 unforced errors, while collecting 21 winners. Berrettini was limited to 16 aces.
Djokovic’s comeback is as good as anyone else. His backhand strike with both hands poses such a threat. His ability to anticipate and track shots from the other side of the net frustrates opponents. A masterful primary magician, he can play on the net too: Djokovic won 34 of 48 points when he went forward on Sunday, including a 7-9 lead when he served and hit the ball.
Despite all that, perhaps what sets it apart above all is that its quality stats are untraceable.
When moments are crucial, stress and heart rate increase. Mind and body can lock up. It is simply human nature. Djokovic is somewhat impervious to this sort of thing. Or at least it plays as if it were.
Perhaps all his experience is in such situations. Perhaps it is all from the accumulated knowledge.
Perhaps an enviable combination of grit and courage – to go along with all his enviable talent and unrelenting hard work.
Let’s not forget that Djokovic faced two championship points against Federer in the 2019 Wimbledon final, or that he fell behind by two sets to nothing in two matches at the French Open before returning to win five sets, including the final.
So far, it’s been a year of Djokovic’s dominance, as well as a decade of success.
“The past 10 years have been an incredible journey, and it doesn’t stop here,” he said.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.