There is nothing else to say or write about the mental toughness Novak Djokovic possesses.
In pursuit of both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both ensconced on 20 Grand Slam titles, the Djoker is looking to achieve winning all four Grand Slam titles in a calendar year for the first time in his career, thereby buttressing the fact he is the G.O.A.T – the greatest tennis player of all time.
“It would mean everything,” opined the defending champion after Friday’s semi-final win. “That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m playing.”
“I imagined myself being in a position to fight for another Grand Slam trophy prior to coming to London. I put myself in a very good position. Anything is possible in the finals. Obviously, experience is on my side.”
Sunday’s opponent is newbie Matteo Berrettini, who is riding an 11-match winning wave that includes his first ATP 500 triumph-the Cinch Championships in the build-up to Wimbledon.
“With big weapons in serve and forehand, he [Berrettini] can play well,” reflected Djokovic in the pre-match interview, “which he has proven – on any surface.
“Obviously grass favours him even more, favours his game. If he serves big, as he did throughout the entire tournament, it’s tough to break his serve, it’s tough to go into the rhythm, to find a good positioning to return, make him play.
“But I believe in my return. I think return has served me very well throughout my career. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a lot of those serves back and wait for my chances. I will also have to serve efficiently.”
Berrettini has blasted 101 aces in his six matches and his first serve accuracy is over 60% but out of his 254 winners, 84 have come from his forehand with only 19 coming from his backhand- a weakness Djokovic will surely target in Sunday’s final.
“I’m just so, so happy for everything,” Berrettini said after his semi-final win. “My year started in a good way, with the finals in the ATP Cup. Then I got injured again. I kind of saw those ghosts again, of my body kind of struggling.
“Again, I came back stronger. I think I fully deserve to be here. I want to enjoy it like I did today. I want to enjoy my first final. I just appreciate what’s happening.”
The match serves off at 2 p.m. Nigeria time.
|Road to final|
|First Round||Berrettini beat Guido Pella 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-0|
|Second Round||Berrettini beat Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3 6-4 7-6|
|Third Round||Berrettini beat Aljaz Bedene 6-4 6-4 6-4|
|Round of 16||Berrettini beat Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-3 6-1|
|Quarter Final||Berrettini beat Felix Auger Aliassime 6-3 5-7 7-5 6-3|
|Semi-Final||Berrettini beat Hubert Hurkacz 6-3 6-0 6-7 6-4|
|First Round||Djokovic beat Jack Draper 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2|
|Second Round||Djokovic beat Kevin Anderson 6-3 6-3 6-3|
|Third Round||Djokovic beat Denis Kudla 6-4 6-3 7-6|
|Round of 16||Djokovic beat Cristian Garin 6-2 6-4 6-2|
|Quarter Final||Djokovic beat Marton Fucsovics 6-3 6-4 6-4|
|Semi-Final||Djokovic beat Denis Shapovalov 7-6 7-5 7-5|
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