A historic final on the cards no matter the result. Djokovic aiming for No.20, Berrettini looking for No.1 and in the middle was Marija Cicak who became the first female umpire of a men’s final at Wimbledon.
It was a nervy start to the final, Djokovic begun with a double fault and hit three in his opening two service games to lead to 2-1. Coming into the final both players had dropped 5 service games in 6 matches: Djokovic 88/93 and Berrettini 95/100 but an early break and a hold to love sealed a 4-1 lead for the world number one with Matteo making some uncharacteristic errors.
Credit to Berrettini, down 2-5 the Italian held a marathon service game saving set points and event saw a couple of break points himself as Djokovic hit some uncharacteristic errors serving for the set. Berrettini rallied well and closed perfectly at the net where Djokovic was testing him early but he began to settle breaking the Serbian and holding to level at 5-5, the first time they’d been level since 1-1.
Djokovic did his bit holding to love, Berrettini had to work hard from deuce but some smart play forced a tie-breaker.
Berrettini continued his resurgence as the Djokovic errors gave the Italian a 3-0 lead but at the first change of ends was level at 3-3. Djokovic pulled him in with a cat and mouse drop shot but the Italian was quick to it and prodded the ball up the net to take a 6-4 lead and see set point.
138mph ace down the T, 7-6 Berrettini.
All of a sudden there was a bounce in Djokovic’ step, 4-0 up and hit a beautiful backhand down the line on the run to kick off game number five where Berrettini finally got on the board.
At 5-2 it was in Djokovic’ hands once again, similar to the first set. Instead of a hold it was a break from Berrettini to extend the set and trail 3-5 with Djokovic still up a break but the set not over yet with the Italian reacting well to the net points.
In Djokovic style he turned on the defence and created three set points but once again the grit of Matteo Berrettini stood strong and won five points in a row to force Djokovic to serve for the set.
Four points in a row, 6-4 Djokovic. 1 hour 53 minutes on the clock.
A look to his box, a point to his head as Djokovic sealed an early break of serve to lead in the match for the first time since he led 5-4 in the first set following some incredible defence forcing the errors.
Djokovic’s domination continued with a 3-1 lead but it didn’t stop the crowd cheering Matteo’s name as he looked to keep close to Djokovic early on. He kept close and almost got level but Djokovic pulled off some Houdini tennis down 15-40 and started to interact with the crowd and rally his fans!
3 errors proved costly for the Italian and after 2 hours and 40 minutes the world number one led by two sets to one.
Would there be a response?
Despite falling down two sets to one I did think that the Italian reacted superbly well holding serve with confidence and leading 3-2 in the fourth set.
He did lead but a lead meant risk and at 3-3 broken the Italian and took a 5-3 lead, one game from history! Two match points came on the Italian’s serve but he dug deep and held strong! A third came and the error into the net from Berrettini sealed a sixth Wimbledon title for Djokovic and a record equalling 20 Grand Slam title on the mens side.