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Novak Djokovic wins Wimbledon for 20th Grand Slam, unsure about Olympics

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Novak Djokovic picked up a record-tying 20th Grand Slam title on Sunday, defeating Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final in London.

The top-seeded Djokovic’s sixth Wimbledon title (2011, 2014-15, 2018-19) and third straight ties him with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most men’s Grand Slam singles titles.

“Winning Wimbledon was a big dream as a kid, and I have to remind myself how special this is and not take this for granted,” said Djokovic. “From a 7-year boy constructing an improvised trophy from materials in my room, and today standing here with a sixth Wimbledon trophy, it’s incredible.”

Having also won the Australian Open and French Open this year, Djokovic can complete the calendar slam and break a three-way tie with Federer and Nadal at the U.S. Open, which begins on Aug. 30.

“I’ve mentioned this before many times, I have to pay a great tribute to Roger and Rafa,” said Djokovic. “I think they are the reason where I am today, they helped me to improve mentally, physically, tactically. When I broke into the top 10 I lost most of the matches against these two guys. The last 10 years have been an incredible journey that is not stopping here.”

Djokovic said after the match that he is unsure if he will compete for Serbia in the Olympics. He could become the first man to win the Golden Slam — all four Grand Slams plus an Olympic gold medal in the same year with a win in Tokyo and the U.S. Open.

“My plan was always to go to Olympic Games, but right now I’m a little bit divided.,” Djokovic said, citing COVID-19 rules in Tokyo and surrounding areas. “I also hear that there’s going to be a lot of restrictions within the [Athletes’] Village. Possibly you would not be able to see other athletes perform live. I can’t even have my stringer that is very important part of my team. I can’t have a stringer. I’m limited with the amount of people I can take in my team as well.”

Federer (doubles in 2008) and Nadal (singles in 2008, doubles in 2016) each have gold medals. Djokovic won the bronze in singles in Beijing in 2008 — the same year Steffi Graf of Germany became the only player to win a Golden Slam.

Making his Grand Slam finals debut, Berrettini, the first Italian to advance to a Wimbledon singles final, fell behind 5-2 in the first set but rallied to force a tiebreak and take the early lead.

For Djokovic, 34, it was the first set he had lost since the first round of the tournament, when he also rallied from an 0-1 start.

Djokovic responded by opening the second set with a break and held on to lead 5-4 before serving out for the set.

The Serbian star broke Berrettini in the third game of the third set to again take the lead. Both players held the rest of the way and Djokovic served out in a final game that saw Berrettini commit three errors.

The fourth set stayed on serve until Djokovic broke Berrettini at 3-3, when the Italian double-faulted on break point. Djokovic held on his next serve, then broke for the sixth and final time of the match when Berrettini sent a backhand into the net on championship point.

Berrettini, the 25-year-old seventh seed, finished the day with 16 aces, compared to just six for Djokovic.

He was also gracious in defeat.

“Well done, Novak. He was better than me,” said Berrettini. “He’s writing the history of my sport so he deserves it.”

It was the 30th career Grand Slam final for Djokovic, one shy of Federer’s record.

–Field Level Media

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