Matteo Berrettini became the first Italian to advance to a Wimbledon singles final with a 6-3, 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-4 victory against Hubert Hurkacz of Poland in the semifinals on Friday.
It also is the first Grand Slam final berth for Berrettini, the seventh seed, who put on an impressive display of power against 14th-seeded Hurkacz.
The 25-year-old Italian hit 22 aces and won 86 percent of points (56 of 65) on his first serve. He capitalized on six of his 10 break opportunities — Hurkacz didn’t break his opponent’s serve — and hit 60 winners to 18 unforced errors.
“I have no words, really, just thanks. I need a couple of hours to understand what happened,” Berrettini said on court after his win. “I played a great match. I enjoyed the crowd, my family and whole team are there. I think I never dreamed about this, because it was too much for a dream. I am so happy.”
Berrettini’s opponent in Sunday’s final is top-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who defeated No. 10 seed Dennis Shapovalov of Canada 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5 in Friday’s other semifinal.
Djokovic, 34, is a five-time Wimbledon champion (2011, 2014-15, 2018-19) and is seeking his record-tying 20th Grand Slam singles title, a mark shared by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
If Berrettini beats Djokovic, he will be the first Italian man to win a Grand Slam since 1976, when Adriano Panatta won the French Open. Berrettini has five career wins and two this season.
Berrettini’s first ATP 500 win came in mid-June at the cinch Championships at the Queen’s Club in London.
The only bump in the road for Berrettini during the two-hour, 36-minute semifinal came in the third-set tiebreaker when he lost the point on his first two serves and couldn’t recover from a 4-0 deficit.
“When you play at this level everything has to be … I am trying to be the best at everything, but after the third set I was feeling I deserved to win it but lost it,” Berrettini said. “I said, ‘It doesn’t matter.’ I was feeling the stronger player and that’s what I said to myself, and eventually it paid off.”
Djokovic held off a strong challenge from the 22-year-old Shapovalov, who was appearing in his first Grand Slam semifinal. Djokovic’s edge in total points for the match was 116-104. Shapovalov had a 5-4 lead in all three sets but was unable to finish the job.
Djokovic finished with 33 winners (eight aces) and 15 unforced errors, compared to 40 winners and 36 unforced errors from Shapovalov. Djokovic saved nine of the 10 break points he faced in the two-hour, 44-minute match.
“I don’t think that the scoreline says enough about the performance and about the match. He was serving for the first set and he was probably the better player for most of the second set,” Djokovic said. “He had many chances and I would like to give him a big round of applause for everything that he has done today and these two weeks.”
Djokovic reached his 30th career Grand Slam final, one behind Federer’s record.
–Field Level Media
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