Novak Djokovic is through to his seventh Wimbledon final after beating a stubborn Denis Shapovalov in straight sets 7-6, 7-5,…
Novak Djokovic is through to his seventh Wimbledon final after beating a stubborn Denis Shapovalov in straight sets 7-6, 7-5, 7-5 on Friday.
The five-time champion is now one victory away from a third successive title at SW19, while he would also move level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slams.
Djokovic was taken the distance in all three sets by Shapovalov, who had not been past the second round at the All England Club prior to this fortnight.
But the 22-year-old was unable to capitalise when it truly mattered – winning just one of 11 break points – enabling the Serb to book his place in a Slam final for a 30th time.
Djokovic was seeking a 16th win from his last 17 appearances in a Slam semi-final, as well as a 101st ATP success on grass.
By contrast, this was only Shapovalov’s 10th match at Wimbledon following a run that brought a five-set victory over Karen Khachanov in the last eight and straight-sets win against two-time champion Andy Murray.
And the Canadian was unfazed on Centre Court, with a break in game three culminating in him serving for the opening set at 5-4 up.
But he was unable to convert from 30-30 and Djokovic capitalised on the let-off, eventually prevailing 7-3 in the tie-break.
Shapovalov stayed with the top seed in the following two sets, but was made to rue his failure to see out break points.
On both occasions, Djokovic ruthlessly took his opportunities in game 11 to move to within another victory of a third successive Wimbledon crown.
Standing in his way is Matteo Berrettini, who became the first Italian Grand Slam finalist in 45 years after beating Hubert Hurkacz in four sets 6-3, 6-0, 6-7, 6-4.
The Queen’s Club champion is aiming to become the eighth player to follow up that triumph by going all the way here three weeks later.
And the seventh seed dominated the opening two sets – reeling off 11 consecutive games along the way – to take control of proceedings.
Hurkacz, who edged out second seed Daniil Medvedev before ruthlessly demolishing eight-time champion Federer in straight sets, was struggling to settle as he became the first Pole to appear in a semi-final here since Jerzy Janowicz eight years ago.
But roared on by the Centre Court crowd, he stuck in there and reduced the deficit in a tense tie-break.
Nevertheless Berrettini, who has now won a whopping 151 of his 158 service games on grass this year, broke in the opening game of the fourth set.
And the big-serving Italian subsequently held out to become the first player from his nation to reach the SW19 showpiece after another display of tremendous power, which brought 60 winners and 22 aces along the way.
Wimbledon 2021 Results
Friday July 9
Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-0, 6-7, 6-4 Hubert Hurkacz
Novak Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 7-5 Denis Shapovalov