Novak Djokovic won his sixth Wimbledon title on Sunday, July 11, defeating Italian seventh seed Matteo Berrettini 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 6-3.
After over 2 1/2 hours, the Wimbledon final was tied at one set apiece, and Novak Djokovic’s attempt for a record-tying 20th Grand Slam victory was at a critical juncture as he faced two breakpoints. Meanwhile, hundreds in the Centre Court audience chanted his opponent’s first name.
Djokovic, known for his baseline supremacy, charged forward on each of the following two points. Berrettini’s passing effort found the net and was unsuccessful. After the second, Djokovic looked into the crowd and waved his racket while pointing to his ear. Finally, he achieved what he wanted, and a chant of “No-le! No-le!” erupted. Djokovic put his racket behind one ear, heard more noise, nodded, and smiled two points later when he grabbed the game with a 118 mph ace.
Of course, Djokovic wants more.
“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,” said Djokovic. “But whether I’m the greatest of all time or not, I leave that debate to other people.”
Serbian Novak Djokovic won his 20th Grand Slam championship at the All England Club, equaling the men’s record held by Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafa Nadal of Spain.
“It means none of us three will stop,” when asked what the milestone meant to him, Djokovic stated during the presentation ceremony.
“I have to pay a great tribute to Rafa and Roger. They are legends. Legends of our sport. They are the two most important players that I ever faced in my career,” Djokovic said. “They are, I think, the reason that I am where I am today. They’ve helped me realize what I need to do in order to improve, to get stronger mentally, physically, tactically.”
After winning the Australian and French Open titles in 2021, Djokovic only needs to win the U.S. Open to complete the calendar slam for the first time since Rod Laver in 1969.
“I could definitely envisage that happening. I’m gonna definitely give it a shot,” Djokovic continued.
“I’m in great form and obviously playing well and playing my best tennis at Grand Slams. It is the highest priority that I have right now at this stage of my career. So let’s keep it going.”
In addition, he won the third leg of the Golden Slam. In the history of tennis, no man has ever won all four grand slams in the same year.
The 34-year-old, who had beaten Berrettini in both of their previous meetings, broke early in the opening set to take a 5-2 lead, but the Italian fought back to force a tiebreak, which he won to take the first set.
When Berrettini’s backhand slice fell in the net on his third match point, Djokovic sealed his place in history.
“That was more than a battle,” Djokovic said.
“Winning Wimbledon was always a biggest dream of mine when I was a kid … I have to remind myself how special this is, and not take this for granted.”