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Wimbledon 2021: Novak Djokovic beats Matteo Berrettini for 20th Grand Slam title

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Wimbledon 2021 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 28 June-11 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details here

Novak Djokovic won his sixth Wimbledon title to equal Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's record of 20 men's Grand Slam victories after fighting back to beat Italy's Matteo Berrettini.

The 34-year-old Serb won 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-3 in front of a passionate and vocal 15,000 crowd on Centre Court.

Seventh seed Berrettini, 25, received loud backing but could not maintain his advantage in his first major final.

Top seed Djokovic has now won all three Grand Slam men's titles in 2021.

"Winning Wimbledon was always the biggest dream for me when I was a kid," said the world number one, who dropped a set for only the second time in the SW19 fortnight.

"A seven-year-old boy in Serbia constructing a Wimbledon trophy with improvised materials and standing here with a sixth real trophy is incredible. It is amazing."

Having already claimed the Australian Open and French Open, Djokovic is the fifth man in history – and only the second in the Open era after Rod Laver in 1969 – to win the first three majors of the season.

And with Djokovic retaining his crown at the All England Club, he has moved a step closer to becoming the second player to achieve a 'Golden Slam'.

Only Germany's Steffi Graf in 1988 has ever won all four majors and the Olympics in a calendar year.

Reaction to the Wimbledon men's finalDjokovic bid for 'Golden Slam' in doubt

Berrettini saved two match points at 5-3 in the fourth set with a controlled volley and a 101mph forehand winner down the line. But the Italian could not fight off the third as he sliced a backhand into the net.

Djokovic fell flat on his back with his arms outstretched after sealing a hard-fought victory, while Berrettini's contrasting emotions on the opposite baseline – bending over double with his hands on his knees – illustrated the effort he had expended in defeat.

After taking the acclaim of a rapturous Centre Court crowd, Djokovic climbed up to his support team to celebrate before finding a few spare seconds to have a selfie with one young fan.

'The journey is not stopping here,' vows Djokovic

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Djokovic has made no secret of the fact he is motivated by creating history, having already spent more weeks as world number one than any other man and now targeting the most major titles.

When Djokovic won his first Slam at the 2008 Australian Open, Federer – who is almost six years older than the Serb – had claimed 12 of his 20 majors. Djokovic was still stuck on one when Federer claimed his 16th in 2010.

Now, Djokovic has moved level with Federer – and Nadal, who caught up with the Swiss at last year's French Open – for the first time.

"I have to pay tribute to Rafa and Roger. They are legends of our sport and the two greatest players I have faced," said Djokovic, who won his second Grand Slam in 2011 and has now won a total of 19 in the past decade.

"They are the reason why I am where I am today. They made me realise what I had to do to get stronger – mentally, physically and tactically.

"The last 10 years have been an incredible journey that is not stopping here."

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Not only did Djokovic have to contend with Berrettini's fierce serving and thumping forehand, he also had to deal with the loud vocal support for the popular Italian.

There were moments when Djokovic seemed irked by chanting of his opponent's name, responding with steely glares and exchanges with the crowd.

Despite that, there was nothing other rapturous acclaim when he sealed a third successive title on Centre Court.

Novak Djokovic talks to umpire Marija CicakDjokovic appeared to complain about the noise of the crowd to umpire Marija Cicak, who became the first women to chair an SW19 men's singles final

Berrettini beaten but not down

It was not a straightforward afternoon against the in-form Berrettini, though.

The world number nine warmed up for the All England Club by lifting the Queen's title, extending his winning record on the British grass courts this summer to 11 matches by reaching the SW19 final.

There was a tense start from both men in a stadium allowed a 100% capacity, with two double faults from Djokovic in the opening game showing even the all-time greats still suffer from nerves on the biggest of occasions.

After settling down to break for 3-1 and then move 5-2 ahead, Djokovic missed a set point in the eighth game and was unable to serve out in the following game as Berrettini broke back.

It felt as though Berrettini needed to win the first set to stand any chance of victory and it seemed the Centre Court crowd also knew how important the tie-break was for the Italian.

Holding a 6-4 lead, he landed a 138mph ace down the middle to clinch the opening set after one hour and 10 minutes.

Djokovic came out fighting at the start of the second set. After breaking in the first game, he earned another in the third when the pressure told on Berrettini and he dumped a forehand into the net on the third break point.

From a 5-1 lead, Djokovic was pegged back to 5-4 again after Berrettini fended off three set points in the ninth game.

Unlike the first set, Djokovic had the comfort of a double break and at the second attempt served out to love to level.

With the crowd chanting in support of Berrettini, Djokovic gained an early break in the third set which he would not concede. The Serb responded to that break by prodding his temple to indicate his mental resolve and clarity of thought in the most tense moments of the biggest matches.

A tight fourth set hung in the balance until Djokovic set up a break point at 3-3 with a glorious cross-court forehand winner. Berrettini produced a double fault, giving Djokovic a lead that he would not relinquish.

"I'm really happy with the final and hopefully it will not be my last one here or my last one in a Slam," said Berrettini.

"I'm so honoured to be here and it's been a really great run for two weeks.

"Also with [winning] Queen's, I could not ask for more, well, maybe, a bit more."

'Djokovic has taken tennis to another level' – reaction

Former British number one Tim Henman on BBC TV: "It has really been a fantastic tournament with a very worthy winner. Djokovic had an incredible tournament, he came in as a huge favourite and he put in an absolute masterclass in the two weeks. No doubt the best player won this tournament.

"He talks about his hunger, desire and motivation but there is no doubt he want to be the leader of that conversation when it comes to numbers of Grand Slams. The calendar Grand Slam is absolutely on the cards and is one of the greatest achievements in the sport. After the challenges of 2020 to have the players back in the stadium – it's a great way to finish."

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli on BBC Radio 5 Live: "It is entirely sensational that Novak has been able to win the 20th Grand Slam. What a final – we have been so lucky to witness such a great level from both players. Berrettini pushed Djokovic – it takes two players to have such a great fight. Novak Djokovic has just taken tennis to another level."

Six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker on BBC TV: "It has been a difficult three weeks, just playing and being in the hotel, you need great people around you on your side and it's great for Novak to show his appreciation for his team."

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Comment posted by Griff, today at 17:41Griff

17:41Excellent final, best man won but was spoiled for me by the knuckle draggers shouting in between points putting the players off.
Kick them out.1649K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 17:46Kate G F

17:46to Griff"Excellent final, best man won but was spoiled for me by the knuckle draggers shouting in between points putting the players off. Kick them out."Kate G F replied: Novak the goat

The one and only4591More replies (47)downT

Comment posted by The frozen man, today at 17:43The frozen man

17:43Appalling tv commentary from Castle, Becker and Henman all afternoon. Seeing the game entirely from Djokovic perspective and barely acknowledging a player – Berrettini – playing his first grand slam final. When the crowd chanted “Matteo, Matteo” all Castle could say was “crowd getting on Djokovic’ back!”. Utter nonsense that spoiled a very good final, had to turn the sound off. bbc get a grip!16049D

Reply posted by DH, today at 17:47DH

17:47to The frozen man"Appalling tv commentary from Castle, Becker and Henman all afternoon. Seeing the game entirely from Djokovic perspective and barely acknowledging a player – Berrettini – playing his first grand slam final. When the crowd chanted “Matteo, Matteo” all Castle could say was “crowd getting on Djokovic’ back!”. Utter nonsense that spoiled a very good final, had to turn the sound off. bbc get a grip!"DH replied: Absolutely dire commentary11711More replies (27)downW

Comment posted by Wee Brian, today at 17:40Wee Brian

17:40Unbelievable by Novak and to have THREE players all on 20 Grand Slam wins at the same time is just insane.
Well done Berrettini too, sure we’ll see lots more of you in the future.1088K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 17:46Kate G F

17:46to Wee Brian"Unbelievable by Novak and to have THREE players all on 20 Grand Slam wins at the same time is just insane.Well done Berrettini too, sure we’ll see lots more of you in the future."Kate G F replied: Novak the undisputed GOAT

Wow4586More replies (26)downD

Comment posted by Diogeues, today at 17:51Diogeues

17:51Djok comfortably below his best but still it was never really in doubt.

The Wimbledon crowd is turning into the US Open, though. Need to get rid of some of these trying to get themselves heard between every point.895K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 18:08Kate G F

18:08to Diogeues"Djok comfortably below his best but still it was never really in doubt. The Wimbledon crowd is turning into the US Open, though. Need to get rid of some of these trying to get themselves heard between every point."Kate G F replied: The crowd has zero class.
But can’t expect much from them, can we?

Djokovic – total legend.4232More replies (9)downJ

Comment posted by JamieKai39, today at 17:47JamieKai39

17:47Great game, shame about the commentary. Andrew Castle has been banging on about football since Queens, think he may be in the wrong job, and Becker as awful as ever.8311K

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Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 18:03Kate G F

18:03to JamieKai39"Great game, shame about the commentary. Andrew Castle has been banging on about football since Queens, think he may be in the wrong job, and Becker as awful as ever."Kate G F replied: It is time we move Wimby to Scotland and have Sturgeon give out the prize643More replies (8)downR

Comment posted by Rosemary, today at 17:46Rosemary

17:46Brilliant match. I’m not a great Novak Djokovic fan, but there’s no denying he is an absolutely superb tennis player, and he deserved that. Well done! And bravo to Matteo Berrettini; I thought he’d be overwhelmed, and he played so well, fought tooth and nail and did himself proud. I don’t think that will be his last Grand Slam final. Two excellent singles finals this year; long may it continue!664K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 17:53Kate G F

17:53to Rosemary"Brilliant match. I’m not a great Novak Djokovic fan, but there’s no denying he is an absolutely superb tennis player, and he deserved that. Well done! And bravo to Matteo Berrettini; I thought he’d be overwhelmed, and he played so well, fought tooth and nail and did himself proud. I don’t think that will be his last Grand Slam final. Two excellent singles finals this year; long may it continue!"Kate G F replied: Most slams
Most masters 1000
Only one to win all slams at least twice and all masters 1000 at least twice

Most weeks at #1

Say it. The GOAT.3459More replies (4)downP

Comment posted by PC54, today at 17:45PC54

17:45Well played both, although later, I
hope Berrettinis’ countrymen don’t hit the net as much as he did. ;o)659K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 18:06Kate G F

18:06to PC54"Well played both, although later, Ihope Berrettinis’ countrymen don’t hit the net as much as he did. ;o)"Kate G F replied: I hope Italy will get one to make up for the loss suffered by Berrettini.2543More replies (7)downS

Comment posted by Sean, today at 17:44Sean

17:44Very gracious loser..hopefully he’ll get a slam one day572K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 17:51Kate G F

17:51to Sean"Very gracious loser..hopefully he’ll get a slam one day"Kate G F replied: Hopefully Novak will win the next 20 slams1477More replies (1)downR

Comment posted by RoadkillGoat, today at 17:43RoadkillGoat

17:43Funny how they mention the women have more titles than the three men, I’m sure they would have triple the amount if they got away with 2 set matches.478K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 17:47Kate G F

17:47to RoadkillGoat"Funny how they mention the women have more titles than the three men, I’m sure they would have triple the amount if they got away with 2 set matches."Kate G F replied: Novak will win 252144More replies (5)downD

Comment posted by DrCajetanCoelho, today at 17:49DrCajetanCoelho

17:49Congratulations to champion Novak Djokovic. All the best to runner-up Matteo Berrettini in the Grand slams to come. Well played.426K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 18:07Kate G F

18:07to DrCajetanCoelho"Congratulations to champion Novak Djokovic. All the best to runner-up Matteo Berrettini in the Grand slams to come. Well played."Kate G F replied: Novak is probably the best sportsman of all sports globally in the last 20 years certainly if not 50 years.

To become the undisputed GOAT in the era of Rafa and Rog, the #2 and #3 best of all time respectively , is an amazing feat1933More replies (4)downA

Comment posted by ashtongatejim, today at 17:49ashtongatejim

17:49I don’t watch sports for likeable people to win. I watch sports to see human physicality, technique, and strategy at its optimum level. That’s what Djokovic has delivered this past decade. Until I see someone good enough to deserve to take that mantle off him, Nadal and Federer then I’m happy to see those guys still winning everything.449D

Reply posted by David L Evans, today at 18:02David L Evans

18:02to ashtongatejim"I don’t watch sports for likeable people to win. I watch sports to see human physicality, technique, and strategy at its optimum level. That’s what Djokovic has delivered this past decade. Until I see someone good enough to deserve to take that mantle off him, Nadal and Federer then I’m happy to see those guys still winning everything."David L Evans replied: Boring for the same few to win all the time, compared to either the women or the golf majors.722More replies (3)downA

Comment posted by Alexandre LackOfThreat, today at 17:39Alexandre LackOfThreat

17:39I don’t get those that dislike Djokovic, yes he might have some arrogance but boy does he back it up with his tennis5522S

Reply posted by Simone, today at 18:13Simone

18:13to Alexandre LackOfThreat"I don’t get those that dislike Djokovic, yes he might have some arrogance but boy does he back it up with his tennis"Simone replied: He’s also predictable and boring. I fell asleep in the third set!724More replies (6)downA

Comment posted by admin, today at 17:46admin

17:46Great match. Well played Novak to joim the greats.

As for Andrew Castle commentary, please don’t let that happen again. Awful commentary!4517K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 17:52Kate G F

17:52to admin"Great match. Well played Novak to joim the greats.As for Andrew Castle commentary, please don’t let that happen again. Awful commentary!"Kate G F replied: Novak was already the GOAt

Now he is the greatest

The one and only1240More replies (8)downM

Comment posted by micky1up, today at 17:52micky1up

17:52It’s embarrassing how many noisy louts are in the crowd exactly why I don’t watch tennis anymore294G

Reply posted by GC, today at 17:59GC

17:59to micky1up"It’s embarrassing how many noisy louts are in the crowd exactly why I don’t watch tennis anymore"GC replied: Have you ever watched the USO or Davis Cup? That’s noisy!60More replies (3)downG

Comment posted by Gloone, today at 18:12Gloone

18:12The crowd had no class. The level of partiality towards Berrettini was ridiculous and clearly intended mostly to irritate Djokovic. It was an uncomfortable level of hostility. It doesn’t matter if you dislike the man, show some decorum and respect. Ultimately of course the crowd only embarrassed themselves and Djokovic had the last laugh.285S

Reply posted by Steel Falcon, today at 18:14Steel Falcon

18:14to Gloone"The crowd had no class. The level of partiality towards Berrettini was ridiculous and clearly intended mostly to irritate Djokovic. It was an uncomfortable level of hostility. It doesn’t matter if you dislike the man, show some decorum and respect. Ultimately of course the crowd only embarrassed themselves and Djokovic had the last laugh."Steel Falcon replied: They make England football supporters look good. What next lasers aimed at him next time he appears ?110More replies (5)downS

Comment posted by ScotBrit54, today at 18:08ScotBrit54

18:08Love him or hate him…. No one can dispute…. He is one of the best…. Of all time307S

Reply posted by Simone, today at 18:22Simone

18:22to ScotBrit54"Love him or hate him…. No one can dispute…. He is one of the best…. Of all time"Simone replied: He isn’t.426More replies (3)downD

Comment posted by dai, today at 17:51dai

17:51Do wish Sue Baker would stop telling the players to say thanks to family and co. They don’t need to be asked.285K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 18:57Kate G F

18:57to dai"Do wish Sue Baker would stop telling the players to say thanks to family and co. They don’t need to be asked."Kate G F replied: AFter a superlative event in which the GOAT won his 20th slam, this is what registers with some people. Sue and her post match questions.

One wonders why they watch tennis! something tells me footy is more your type35M

Comment posted by Manco Capac, today at 18:03Manco Capac

18:03OMG. Isn’t it possible to like and admire, Djokovic, Federer and Nadal, equally, albeit for different attributes of their game ? Why do people have to turn it into a schoolyard slanging match?242H

Reply posted by harrydash, today at 18:07harrydash

18:07to Manco Capac"OMG. Isn’t it possible to like and admire, Djokovic, Federer and Nadal, equally, albeit for different attributes of their game ? Why do people have to turn it into a schoolyard slanging match?"harrydash replied: No you can’t admire them equally. Style, attitude, personality all play a part and Federer leaves the others standing.1218More replies (3)downD

Comment posted by Drusilla Squirt, today at 18:07Drusilla Squirt

18:07Novak seems the freshest out of the 3 big guns and will go on to win more slams than them.234H

Reply posted by harrydash, today at 18:14harrydash

18:14to Drusilla Squirt"Novak seems the freshest out of the 3 big guns and will go on to win more slams than them."harrydash replied: Sadly I think you’re right511M

Comment posted by mushtaq elahi, today at 17:43mushtaq elahi

17:43Djokovic just too strong in the end for Berrettini who I thought gave a decent account of himself.

Too many unforced errors, though. Lost count of how many times he put it into the net.201K

Reply posted by Kate G F, today at 17:51Kate G F

17:51to mushtaq elahi"Djokovic just too strong in the end for Berrettini who I thought gave a decent account of himself.Too many unforced errors, though. Lost count of how many times he put it into the net."Kate G F replied: Those errors are caused by Novak

That’s what the GOAT does

Say it. Novak. The very best of all time1849More replies (2)downMore commentsBack to topunknown
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