6 min read
Novak Djokovic (UTR Rating 16.14) is one match away from winning Wimbledon for the third time in a row. His last remaining obstacle is first-time Grand Slam finalist Matteo Berrettini (UTR Rating 15.67). If Djokovic were to win on Sunday, he’ll be tied at 20 majors with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and will continue the chase for a 21st major and calendar-year Grand Slam at the US Open next month.
Berrettini Barrels into History Books
On Friday, Berrettini ended Hubert Hurkacz’s run 6-3, 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-4. Before this fortnight’s breakthrough, Berrettini had appeared in one major semifinal, at the 2019 US Open. He reached the quarterfinals of Roland Garros this year, losing to eventual champion Djokovic in four sets.
Regardless of what happens next, Berrettini has earned the honor of being the first Italian ever to reach a singles Wimbledon final.
“I think I never dreamed about this because it was too much for a dream,” the No. 7 seed said.
Sunday is a huge day for Berrettini’s home country with Italy also facing England in the Euro Cup final. Berrettini will chase history first at 2 p.m. local time on Centre Court at the All England Club, with Italy's game scheduled for 8 p.m. roughly 13 miles away at Wembley Stadium.
“Obviously I'm going to think first about mine. I think the schedule is going to come first,” Berrettini said. “Then probably, if I have the chance, I'm going to watch them.”
Djokovic Shuts Out Shapovalov
In the second match to take to Centre Court on Friday, Djokovic bested first-time major semifinalist Denis Shapovalov, 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-5, in a match he said was far closer than the score.
“I don't think that the scoreline says enough about the performance and about the match,” Djokovic said. “He was serving for the first set and he was probably the better player for most of the second set.”
The seemingly unbeatable 33-year-old Serbian improves to 33-6 this season. He has dropped just one set at the All England Club, the very first one he played against British wild card Jack Draper. He’s taking a 17-match win streak into his seventh Wimbledon final. Berrettini has some momentum of his own: He won Queen’s Club last month, making Friday his 11th straight victory.
Universal Tennis INSIGHTS
Before the grass-court major began, INSIGHTS gave Djokovic a 36% chance of winning the title, and Berrettini a 6% chance behind Top 4 seeds Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, and Alexander Zverev. Berrettini and Djokovic were two of just eight players who had more than a 1% win probability.
Per INSIGHTS, Djokovic has a 75% chance of beating Berrettini for the Wimbledon trophy. The No. 1 seed has the higher overall UTR Rating, 16.14 to 15.67, and the higher three-month Trending UTR Rating, 16.14 to 15.70.
Berrettini has been enjoying his best season to date, with a 44-15 win-loss record over the last 15 months. But Djokovic has been winning even more, as his record stands at 60-9. The Serbian has the slight edge in the record versus common opponents, 19-5 to 16-8, and his best-rated win is Rafael Nadal (UTR Rating 16.12) compared to the Italian’s best win over Cameron Norrie (UTR Rating 15.51).
Djokovic leads the overall head-to-head record against Berrettini 2-0. Before his win over the 25-year-old in Paris, he topped him in round-robin action at the ATP Finals in 2019.
“There’s no holding back once you step out on the court particularly in the later stages of the event that I always dreamed of winning and the dream keeps going,” Djokovic said. “That’s all I can say. I’m trying to
•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 4 p.m. EST, July 9, 2021.