Novak Djokovic celebrated his 20th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon and caught up with the record holders Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. But with that he begins to reach for the stars.
As if struck by lightning, Novak Djokovic sank down on the sacred lawn for the tennis history books and stretched all fours in relief.
On his furious record hunt, the Serb reached a historic milestone at Wimbledon, with his 20th Grand Slam title he stormed the top step of the all-time leaderboard and caught up with his great rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
And when he gave the noble Challenge Cup a deep kiss, he finally set his sights on the Golden Slam.
Novak Djokovic on his “incredible journey”
“The past ten years have been an incredible journey that doesn’t stop there,” said Djokovic after the 6: 7 (4: 7), 6: 4, 6: 4, 6: 3 against final debutant Matteo Berrettini, the first Italian The Wimbledon final said: “A seven-year-old boy in Serbia once built a Wimbledon trophy with improvised materials. And now he is here with his sixth title.”
After his third win in a row at the lawn classic, the world number one also paid tribute to Federer and Nadal, who drive him on his record hunt. “They are legends of our sport,” said the 34-year-old: “They are the reason why I am at this point in the first place.”
And after the best start to the season in 52 years, the seemingly unattainable is suddenly within reach for him.
Is Novak Djokovic now even waving the Golden Slam?
Since the Australian icon Rod Laver in 1969, no player had succeeded in winning the first three major tournaments of the year.
With a win at the US Open, Djokovic, like Laver back then, can make the legendary Grand Slam perfect. “I’ll try. I’m in great shape,” he said.
And with Olympic gold there is even the Golden Slam like Steffi Graf’s in 1988 – but he has not yet finally decided whether he will travel to Tokyo due to the restrictions and the exclusion of spectators.
Experience spoke clearly for Djokovic in his 30th major final – and yet the prospect of winning the historic title seemed to influence even the mental monster Djokovic at first. The top favorite started his seventh Wimbledon final with a double mistake, and two more should follow quickly.
Wimbledon audience senses the sensation
But his counterpart was no less shaky, Berrettini could clearly see the pressure. After all, his whole home country’s eyes were on London – Berrettini was supposed to deliver the appropriate overture for the footballers’ European Championship final against England in the evening at Wembley.
Both players slowly screwed their error rate down in front of 15,000 spectators. With his crashing serve and strong forehand, Berrettini got better and better into the match – and turned the first set after 2: 5 deficit. And the audience sensed the sensation.
On this historic day, the organizers at Wimbledon also provided a (long overdue) novelty. The Croatian referee Marija Cicak was the first woman to lead the men’s final at the All England Club.
And like Duchess Kate in the Royal Box, she saw that Djokovic was not impressed by the deficit. He put in two quick breaks and this time also fought off Berrettini’s rearing up again with ease.
Novak Djokovic impressively strong-nerved
And the Serb impressively proved why he is considered the best return player in the world, Berrettini also gave up the serve early in the third set.
With a determined look, the “Djoker” tapped his temple – mainly thanks to his impressive mental strength, he chased from record to record and took the decisive 2: 1 set lead.
Cheered on by the fans, Berrettini fought tirelessly, with great rallies the opponents tore the audience from their seats. But he could no longer snatch the momentum from Djokovic.
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