Novak Djokovic continues to close in on history. The World No. 1 claimed a men's record-tying 20th Grand Slam title on Sunday when he defeated Matteo Berrettini in four sets, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to win the men's singles title at Wimbledon.
It is his 20th career Grand Slam title and with it, Djokovic is now tied with his 'Big Three' rivals -- Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal -- for the all-time men's Grand Slam record. The 2021 Wimbledon title is his third consecutive title at the All England Club and sixth overall.
He also owns a 21-match win streak at Wimbledon.
"Winning Wimbledon was always the biggest dream of mine as a kid," Djokovic told the Centre Court crowd after his win. "I was a seven year-old boy in Serbia, constructing Wimbledon tennis trophies from improvised materials that I could find in my room. And today, standing with a sixth Wimbledon [title], it's incredible, amazing."
In a battle between the new and older generations in men's tennis, the 34-year-old Djokovic kept the 25-year-old Berrettini from spoiling his title chase. For Djokovic, he has held off the 'Next Gen' players in every Grand Slam final he's won this year. Djokovic beat Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the French Open final.
Berrettini did pose a serious threat in Sunday's Wimbledon final, in part because of his skill on the grass surface and the momentum he had entering this championship match. The No. 9 ranked Berrettini owned an 11-match winning streak on grass courts, including a title at the Queen's Club last month.
The Italian -- who was playing in his first Grand Slam final -- came away with the opening set victory in a tiebreaker after saving set point when trailing 5-2. He held at 5-3 before breaking Djokovic in the next game, and finished in style with an 138 mph ace to grab the early lead. But, once again, Djokovic's unbelievable speed, endurance and ability to redirect the pace of a match proved to be too much for his younger and much less experienced opponent. He came away with the final three sets mostly with ease.
Djokovic continues to cement his case as one of the greatest tennis players of all-time, and with this title, he has the chance to overtake Federer and Nadal in the all-time record. Sunday's Wimbledon final was Djokovic's third Grand Slam title this year, having already won the Australian Open in February and the French Open in June.
"I have to pay tribute to Rafa and Roger," Djokovic said in his post-match interview. "They are legends of our sport and they are the two most important players that I ever faced in my career. They are the reason that I am where I am today. They helped me to realize what I need to do in order to improve."
This Wimbledon championship puts him three-quarters of the way to a calendar-year Grand Slam. No men's singles player has accomplished a calendar Slam since Rod Laver in 1969. Only five players in the history of tennis have won the calendar Grand Slam; Don Budge (1938), Rod Laver (1962, 1969), Maureen Connolly Brinker (1953), Margaret Court (1970) and Steffi Graf (1988). The US Open in New York begins next month.
Road to the Final
R1: def. Jack Draper, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2
R2: def. Kevin Anderson, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3
R3: def. Denis Kudla, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7)
R4: def. No. 17 Cristian Garín, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
QF: def. Márton Fucsovics, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
SF: def. No. 10 Denis Shapovalov, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 7-5
R1: def. Guido Bella, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0
R2: def. Botic van de Zandschulp, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
R3: def. Aljaž Bedene, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
R4: def. Ilya Ivashka, 6-4, 6-3, 6-1
QF: def. No. 16 Felix Auger Aliassime, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3
SF: def. No. 14 Hubert Hurkacz, 6-3, 6-0, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4
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