Novak Djokovic has finally caught Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the grand slam counter with yet another Wimbledon win. His sixth title at SW19 came thanks to a four set win over Matteo Berrettini, who put up a spirited performance in the 6-7 6-4 6-3 6-3 for the Serbian. Djokovic maintains his iron grip on the World No.1 spot while Berrettini returns to his career high of No. 8 after the tournament.
If you are going to beat Djokovic in any match and especially best of five, winning the first set is going to be ultra important. It didn’t look like that was going to be the case as Djokovic looked in great form early on and did serve for the set at 5-3 having failed to break for the set in a lengthy eighth game. Berrettini took advantage of some rare errors in the following game before blasting a winner to get the set back on serve. The pair traded holds to get to the tiebreak and it was Djokovic who fell behind early and never got ahead as Berrettini ace that secured the set for the underdog.
Some great net play gave Djokovic the break to begin the second set as he returned to the form at the beginning of the opening set. Berrettini tried to mount another inspired comeback – this time from 1-5 down. He would get to 4-5* but a Djokovic love hold saw the match go to one set all. A single break was all that was needed for Djokovic in the third, despite the best efforts of Berrettini who was still maintaining a high level but unable to get the breakthrough on return.
Up 2-1, it was always going be a major struggle for Berrettini to produce a level good enough to trouble a Djokovic continuing to grow in confidence throughout the match. The pair continued to go blow for blow and it was the Italian who buckled first, hitting a double fault at 3-3 to give Djokovic the all important break. It would be enough but Djokovic ensured no service nerves would hit him by breaking for the second time in the set thanks to a backhand slice error on match poiint.
Berrettini continues to improve and it would not be a major surprise for him to be a grand slam winner in the post-Djokovic era. He possesses a strong attacking game and with some extra work on the backhand, would have few weaknesses. “In order to win against him, I have to improve more. Like he said, he was losing against Rafa and Roger, and thanks to them he improved. That’s what I’ll try to do. Thanks to him, I’m going to try to get better.”
For Djokovic, it’s just a matter of how many now and it is incredibly difficult to predict. The Serbian will go into the US Open as the heavy favourite and that should remain the same for at least another season of slams. “I’ve always believed I could play my best tennis in Grand Slams and give myself a good chance to win any slam really on any surface because I know what I’m capable of. I know I have a very complete game that has proven to be successful on all surfaces in the past.” Djokovic said after, looking back at the many records he has set “But only the last two-and-a-half, three years I started to realise that actually I can reach the weeks of No. 1, which was my primary goal actually in the last two years, and also Grand Slams. It’s really incredible that it’s all coming together in the same year. That’s something that I didn’t expect.”