Novak Djokovic v Matteo Berrettini For The Wimbledon Title, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | July 10th, 2021, 4:14 pm
  • 55 Comments

It wasn’t much of leap, but I’m one of the many who did take Novak Djokovic to meet Matteo Berrettini at the start for the Wimbledon title. So here we are with Djokovic on the cusp of history and the Italian 25-year-old in his very first Grand Slam final.

Yesterday, Djokovic didn’t play great but did what he had to do to get past Denis Shapovalov. The Canadian just couldn’t bring his best in the biggest moments. And that’s exactly where Novak has been so tough. The 22-year-old finished 1/11 on break chances and that’s what Novak will do to you.

In the first semifinal, Berrettini got on a mid-first set run and overwhelmed Hubert Hurkacz for a 4-set win, his 11th straight victory. He finished with 22 aces and another match in which he didn’t drop serve.

So both guys come in fresh and ready for battle, and what a battle it should be.

Novak Djokovic v Matteo Berrettini
I doubt many, if anyone, is picking Berrettini here. But I give him a decent chance. In his last two matches, Djokovic has looked a little off and I’m starting to think this is going to catch up to him, if not tomorrow then at some point in New York. He is 34 and while he seems unbeatable, he will lose. It’s going to happen.

In Paris, Djokovic dropped the first two sets to Lorenzo Musetti and did it again in the final against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Even Berrettini played him really tough in the quarters.

Then at Wimbledon, he dropped the very first set of his title defense to Jack Draper but was dominant until the Marton Fucsovics and Shapovalov matches. Yet when you look at the scoreboard, Djokovic’s won 16 straight sets at Wimbledon and 20 straight matches in Slams. So while it may not look pretty, he’s doing something right!

So too is Berrettini. The big bomber who was born in Rome is riding the Italian wave in London where his national soccer team plays later Sunday night against England for the Euro Cup title.

Berrettini won Queen’s and has maintained that momentum at Wimbledon, running his streak to 11. But he hasn’t faced anyone of a Slam-winning caliber. A past-his-prime Andy Murray, Alex De Minaur and Cameron Norrie in Queen’s and this week Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz have been his biggest obstacles. There are some good wins in there, but based on some quick checking, none of them are in the Top 10 or even Top 15.

That said, any double digit streak at any level will give a guy a heap of confidence, and Berrettini has that to go along with his huge serve and forehand.

Djokovic, of course, has one of the best returns in the business and I fully expect him to make use of that to blunt the Berrettini serve. I also expect him to attack the backhand and use that drop shot to bring the big guy forward.

Berrettini will probably happily take a few tiebreakers and maybe he can get lucky. But he also isn’t much of a net player. He prefers to play off the ground from the baseline and that goes right into the Djokovic strength. All Novak has to do is get to the Berrettini backhand and he should be in control from there.

Most importantly, though, Djokovic will have to keep Berrettini on his heels with his serving. Djokovic needs to get a good percentage of first serves in, then dictate with the forehand (go right to the Berrettini backhand).

I think eventually, the Djokovic pressure will wear Berrettini down. That should open things up for the World No. 1.

Novak’s never lost to Berrettini (only two meetings, and this is on the Italian’s best surface) and in fact, he’s the last guy to beat him. I think Berrettini puts up a decent fight, maybe sneaks a break or a breaker for a set, but Djokovic is too resilient. 20-20-20 here we come!
The Pick: Djokovic in 4


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55 Comments for Novak Djokovic v Matteo Berrettini For The Wimbledon Title, Who’s The Pick?

FedExpress Says:

3rd next gen player to try to beat Nole this year in a GS final.

Medvedev lost in 3, Stefanos in 5.

I think Novak will in 3 easy sets.


Van Persie Says:

I feel unusually relaxed given the importance of this final, no gas left in the tank for me after RG😂

Nole idemooo!


Daniel Says:

Djoko having a lot of troubles closing sets this days. He sure likes some drama. Severao set poijts to close 6-2, than couldn’t serve the set and now let Berrettini back in the match. 0-1 down. Will have to wake that inner demon and play like he can. And be vert careful because if Berretini gest a flow in his serve this match can go the distance and even lose.


jatin Says:

Berrettini is on FIRE… What a comeback..

Super match so far…


Giles Says:

First set in the pocket! 🙏🏼🙏🏼


skeezer Says:

He is just toying with him. These nobody guys he plays are just practice matches in reality.
#weakera


Van Persie Says:

Yes Daniel, Nole really loves to play with the nerves of his fans in the finals lately. Am no longer relaxed 😁


jatin Says:

Amazing 2nd set as well. Novak just edges out.

Hoping for 5 set thriller.


jatin Says:

20th Slam for Novak.
What a champion. What a story.

He is just UNBELIVABLE.


Van Persie Says:

20 belongs to Nole aswell now 😉


All out Says:

This guy has an iron will and he is just 34!! We will get to see another few years of domination and demolition from this superman from Serbia. He’s on an incredible journey to rewrite the history books.
We’ll probably never have another Nole again or Rafa or Roger for that matter. What a generation of tennis legends we have here.
Congratulations Novak Djokovic on your 20th grand slam and 6th Wimbledon. At this rate an Olympic gold and another US open are just a formality.


Alison hodge Says:

Congrats Novak and fans, Federer/Nadal you have company, time for the next gen to step up now though, have a good day folks,


Madmax Says:

WELL DONE NOVAK!

Alison hodge, there is enough room and I have no problem with this at all.

It is BRILLIANT.


Madmax Says:

Novak really does look in great shape. Really great shape, well done to him and to his team.


Daniel Says:

Now, beyond any doubt the unidisputed Great Tennis Player who have ever picked a racket. And he has a more than real shot at the GOLDEN Slam.

And I have the feeling he will obliterare all the records main records for good. Already 7 year end #1 with today win (record way above Fed and Nadal and passing Sanpras), assure to go 350+ weeks as number one (can reach 400 next year). And I strongly believe at least 2-3 more Slams is almost a sure thing. Also to me he will be more favored for RG next year than Nadal going for third career Slam.

I am cheering him all tbe way for USO to be able to watch a Player achieve the unthinkable!

Oh, and a RG – Wimby double in the same year (something Fedal had and he didn’t till today) 😜

Just remarkable!!


Van Persie Says:

Daniel,

Since you love stat🙂. He is the only one from BIG 3 to have won 3 consecutive slam finals in the same year, right?

I agree with Nole, Roger and Rafa did motivate Nole a lot🙂


Van Persie Says:

Correction:Since you love stats, not stat 😁


Wog Boy Says:

Bugger, wrong again with my prediction, third time this year…


KH Says:

It was an entertaining match – enough suspense at times to keep one wondering what might happen next -based on the first set – but in the end Novak certainly deserved the win.

Alison – So who will win the football this evening —–Italy or England?


Wog Boy Says:

I am going to say what Nole didn’t want to say:

FORZA ITALIA


Daniel Says:

I still think Federer has the most perfect game ever played and what he brought to sport with efficiency; Nadal the greater fighter ever and how he shaped the approachh modern players have to appt in every point,
Djokovic combined the best in Fedal agme and overall he is just better. His resume, reaults, records and dominance in major matches against hos both rivals proves it.

But I would still pick Federer on his prime against either of them in a match for my life, not on clay, any given day. :-)


Daniel Says:

Yeah VP. Another record only he has.

He has 4 in a row (2015 Wimby to RG 2016), Djoko Slam and now 3 in a row the same year.


chrisford1 Says:

It will be funny to see how the media that still dumps on Novak vs. Fedal handles the rest of the year “managing” Novaks expectations.

*Why will he try at the Olympics? Only Slams matter to him? The Nation of Serbia prepares for another Olympic choke by Novak.
“Novaks last chance for a gold medal after 3 past Olympic failures.”
“It will be sad if Djoko fails in Tokyo. His fellow superstars Fed, Serena, Andy, and Rafa all have Olympic Gold Medals, Novak has none.”

“Djokovic arrived at the USO well aware of Rafa on a hardcourt rampage again, starting when Rafa began making his preps to win the USO by entering Citi Open. No one in Djokovic’s camp commented on a piece by a NYC tennis pro that losing a Golden Slam would be the “epitome of choking”.
**Djokovic loses! The terrible year for Djokovic continues after his 4th Olympic Games squandered opportunity. Nick Kyrgios “I feel a little sorry for the cringeworthy guy, honestly!! Three Slams in a row, now this!!”

Or he wins the Olympics and USO and ‘disappoints’ by choking ‘yet again’ at the ATF Championships
*************************************

But back to present reality – Novak has already stamped another truly great year in his career even if he does nothing of note for the 2nd half of the year. And he is just playing too well and in this winning aura or whatever to even remotely think he will not add to what he has done the 1st half of the year.

*Having won the Golden Slam, McEnroe and others gathered in Milan for the ATP Championships


Daniel Says:

No. Nadal won RG – Wimby – USO in 2010 as well


chrisford1 Says:

Ignore last sentence. It was a frag I didn’t edit out before posting.
Incomplete expression of my thought of a yearly ATP Championship being entirely superfluous aside for fan entertainment, if someone entered with 4 straight Slams, even a Golden one..
I mean what is even the point of having an ATP championship to determine who the best was?


Van Persie Says:

Daniel,

yes, you are right, Rafa did it aswell. I was not sure and was lazy to check🙂

Not really sure about prime though, Daniel, as I consider Fed still in prime when he lost to Rafole, but each on his own.

My opinion:Federer will be remembered as the guy with the most elegant and “easiest” style of play, which brought huge results to Roger, tennis players who love to play on clay will have Rafa’s records in mind and all around players will think of Nole’s records as target!


Van Persie Says:

Daniel,

yes, you are right, Rafa did it aswell. I was not sure and was lazy to check🙂

Not really sure about prime though, Daniel, as I consider Fed still in prime when he lost to Rafole, but each on his own.
My opinion:Federer will be remembered as the guy with the most elegant and “easiest” style of play, which brought huge results to Roger, tennis players who love to play on clay will have Rafa’s records in mind and all around players will think of Nole’s records as target!


Van Persie Says:

Double post, sorry!


Van Persie Says:

CF1,

Agree with you. I think Nole might be exhausted, but he wants a Golden Medal for aure and he will fight for it. But I really do not car eif he does not win it. He did HUGE this year. Enough for me. 🙂

WB,

Yes, Forzaaa Italia! 😉


Alison Hodge Says:

KH well England i hope , its coming home :-)


SG1 Says:

golden slam or not… it’s not easy to chase down players with 20 majors. sampras completed flamed out after 14. he was mentally empty at 31. federer and nadal laid down the gauntlet and djokovic has never been discouraged by the chase and instead has embraced the challenge. the most successful people always find a way to turn negatives into positives (which is one of most difficult things to do).

i don’t see why he can’t win grand slam or even the golden slam for that matter. i don’t believe federer or rafa will be 100% at the uso. the defending uso champion is checked mentally for the time being. tsitsipas may not have his head screwed on straight till next year after his FO debacle. and guys like FAA and Shapo still have some flaws to work on in their games. i think berretini will bounce back but i can’t see him in successive slam finals yet.


Alison Hodge Says:

Federer sent his congrats on twitter to Novak….


jane Says:

Big cheers Nole fans here (and nice long timers :)). What an achievement. This man Novak Djokovic is nothing short of phenomeNOLE!


Observer Says:

@Giles: glad you are happy with one set only, it is so easy to satisfy you.


S Green Says:

Novak Djokovic is the first man in history to win the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the same season since they have been played *on three different surfaces*. Even Rod Laver did not achieve this feat.
With most weeks at no. 1, most year-end as no. 1, most Masters, Golden Masters, twice career slams, 4 in a row Slam, better H2H against his closest rivals of the *Strongest/ Golden Era*, and combined now with his 2oth Slam already seals Djokovic as the greatest player to have played tennis in the Open Era up until now. If it happens, the Calendar Slam will only make him universally indisputable Best Player Until Now (BPUN).


S Green Says:

It is the happiest day for Djokovic fans. After the Roland Garros semi and final, this SW19 final was also a great treat for all non-partisan tennis fans all around the world. It is a great time for tennis again with the New Gen catching up hard and fast, with skills, power, and youth. This final could have gone the other way. It was that close. The Italian hammer was not easy to overcome. He is already a great player in the making. The next Gen is ready to take the baton, and they will by the end of next year, if not earlier. It is happy relief Tennis will be in good hands again as it has been after Pete-Agassi era.
Back in 2007-08, I was a rare Djokovic fan, alongside Jane on this site, until Duro and Sardine joined a few years later. My high fives to all the oldies and newbies. Enjoy the victory, fellow’s.

Best quote: “I felt relieved after losing the first set. I started playing freely, striking ball better after that set [not verbatim].”

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I consider myself best, and I believe that I am the best, otherwise I wouldn’t be talking confidently about winning Slams and making history.” — Djokovic.


Giles Says:

https://twitter.com/rafaelnadal/status/1414319614474035203?s=21 Rafa sends his congratulations. What a gentleman he is!


tennismonger Says:

Oh yes, Rafa is a generous and gracious champion indeed.

But…he has just announced his entry @ the Citi, a tournament he hasn’t played in since…never?!

Think he’s interested in reclaiming another US Open (rhetorical question)?


skeezer Says:

@jane,
Congrats! Good to see you here and nice play on the word ;)


Wog Boy Says:

Forget about the “Golden Slam”, my feeling is that he won’t go to Japan and I fully support him if he doesn’t go.
He needs to rest, USO is more important, besides, so many players already opted out of Japan that even if he wins gold it will never be appreciated fully and truly, we’ll settle with a bronze from Beijing.
Have a rest Nole, there are bigger fishes to fry😉


Wog Boy Says:

“Rafa sends his congratulations. What a gentleman he is!”

Sure, and in the process of congratulating Nole he congratulates himself too, same as the other one, it’s a little bit stingy, though, I have to admit that he is not hypocrite like the other one who aired that disgusting and disrespectful Rolex ad during Wimbledon.


Wog Boy Says:

jane 🥂

S Green 🥂


Van Persie Says:

Symbolically yesterday was the greatest day for Nole and his fans :)

I started to be a Nole fan during the Australian Open final from 2012. He reached Nr. 5 at that point. I would have never imagined that he could reach a record in terms of GS numer, as Roger owned 16 at that moment.
I am sure that it is even more special for fans who did follow Nole since 2006-2007. WOW. I am a bit envious for that :D

Huge congrats to old fans, as Jane, S Green, Wog Boy, and I am sure there are plenty of other “old” fans but also congrats to his more “recent” fans.

Rolex is completely wrong. Numbers do matter, A LOT! Rod Laver is still mentioned for CGS, due to the number! Pete Sampras wanted to surpass Roy Emerson (12 GS). For Federer it was important to surpass Nr. 14! For a while 17 was the NUMBER. Then it was 20 and still is. I am sure that Nole and Rafa will push it for 21 or even more!
6 YEs was and still is a Number. Nole will push it for 7, so sure about that! And we have 329….and still counting!:)

Rafa will be the King of clay, no one will change that, or will we have another “clay freak”? :D…who will be able to win RG for 14 times?

If GS’s will no longer be played as BO5, then I think the GS records can be surpassed easily.


Van Persie Says:

P.S. And I am also happy that Italy won yesterday :)…wow, what a DAY!


Wog Boy Says:

Yes VP,
It’s not coming home, it’s coming to Rome.

BTW, they just showed Berrettini in evening news here, cheering Italy at Wembley with Ajla after he lost final, he was jumping up and down, screaming after last penalty, he ooks like he hasn’t most important match of his career just hour ago, you have to love him. I couldn’t find the video on YT but it was good to see him in the good mood.


Wog Boy Says:

VP,
Have you seen McEnroe response to Rolex ad, I believe you did, he posted it as soon as it was aired and before Shapovalov match, I am not fan of his but hats down for calling spade a spade, here it is in a case you haven’t seen it:

https://youtu.be/22UimQ8MaIo


Van Persie Says:

WB,

Hehe, it has gone to Rome!LOL

Well, McEnroe knows how important are winning and numbers for a champion :). Every person with common sense knows, that Rolex blew it.


Van Persie Says:

BTW us Rolex was so desperate that 20 was reached by Rafa already and it was expected that Nole reaches it as well….Rolex could have used Nr 8 (Wimbledon titles record for men). Federer still owns…but no, they were more prepared to ruin Nole’s image instead of focussing on what Roger still has. LOL


Wog Boy Says:

VP,
But who wrote the screenplay and approved it for Rolex ad….?
You don’t have to answer the question…it’s only colloquial one😉


Van Persie Says:

WB,

I always liked the way Fed is playing tennis. I always noticed something about him something, which I did not like. He does not like to play tribute to othres, like Nole and Rafa are doing. The majority of his fans is acting like he had invented tennis…but McEnroe, Nastase had the same flamboyant style of play, and many others before for sure. Federer also improved his BH because he wanted to beat Rafa, and he did it finally….Rafa and Nole motivated him to reach Nr. 20, as he felt that his records might be in danger. He never payed tribute to them….and I think he payed a big price for that. He ends up with a great created image, his PR was always better as Nole’s, we have to admit it, but he will no longer own the most important records.

Nole will have the better results, but he never had and perhaps never will Roger’s image, but I am not complaining about that. I am happy with the results :). The NUMBERS will survive for a loooong time :D


Alison hodge Says:

Wogboy/ Van Persie yes Italy deserved the win, moving on congrats to you both on Novak win….


Van Persie Says:

P.S. Flamboyance cannot win determination, discipline and endurance…see McEnroe and Connors versus Borg, and now Roger vs. Rafa and (especially) vs. Nole in the last decade :)


Van Persie Says:

Correction: P.S. Flamboyance cannot win over determination, discipline and endurance


Wog Boy Says:

Alison,
Thanks, about football, actually I didn’t mind England winning, though I supported Italy, but after Denmark match and what happened there (refereeing, fans, laser pointed at Danish goalie…) I wanted them to lose, besides, chanting by English fans “it’s coming home” was not accurate since England was never the home of that trophy, England has never won European championship.
Thought I have to be honest, I felt sad when I saw the face of little George at the end of the game, particularly since I remember my father taking me to the games as kid, funny enough, my first football match was Yugoslavia vs England in Belgrade in 1965, I was just little kid but I felt so important sitting between my father and uncle, people that I looked at growing up.


Van Persie Says:

Alison,

Thank you.:)
Well, we cannot say that Italy fully deserved it. When it goes to penalties, it is a matter of luck. I rooted for Italy, but same as WB, I would have not be sad if England won.

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