Matteo Berrettini, Novak Djokovic on court for final-Sports News , Justnewsday

By | July 11, 2021

Matteo Berrettini, Novak Djokovic on court for final-Sports News , Justnewsday

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Wimbledon 2021 LIVE, men's singles final: Matteo Berrettini, Novak Djokovic on court for final

Matteo Berrettini will have to overcome Novak Djokovic in his bid to win a first-ever Grand Slam title. AP

Preview: Novak Djokovic will face Matteo Berrettini in the Wimbledon final with a chance to win a record-tying 20th Grand Slam title.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal share that men’s mark.

The top-seeded Djokovic’s 30th major final will be the seventh-seeded Berrettini’s first — and the first at any major for any man from Italy since Adriano Panatta won the 1976 French Open.

The key to the title match could be Berrettini’s massive serves against Djokovic’s best-in-the-business returns. It also could come down to how Berrettini handles the occasion.

Djokovic recalls not having enough self-belief when he lost his first major final to Federer at the 2007 U.S. Open. Berrettini remembers being wowed by Wimbledon when he played in the junior event as a teenager.

“For me, it was just absurd. I asked myself, ‘Who knows if one day I’ll return and play in the main tournament, even just in qualifying? I have no idea.’ And now I’m in the final,” he said with a laugh. And then the 25-year-old added: “So it’s all a bit strange. But what’s beautiful … is that I’m much more aware of what I can do now. I know I can do this, because I’m here.”

He has won 11 matches in a row, all on grass courts, since losing to Djokovic in the French Open quarter-finals on clay last month.

Djokovic enters Sunday with winning streaks of 20 matches at Wimbledon, dating to 2018, and 20 matches at Grand Slam tournaments this year.

With inputs from AP.

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