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Wimbledon Tennis 2021 Men's Final: Djokovic vs. Berrettini Predictions

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJuly 10, 2021

Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a return to Canada's Denis Shapovalov during the men's singles semifinals match on day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Alberto Pezzali/Associated Press

Wimbledon has produced its fair share of surprise results this year. But there has also been one thing that nearly everybody predicted come to pass: Novak Djokovic reaching the men's singles final.

As expected, Djokovic has cruised to the end of the tournament, and he is looking to go 3-for-3 in Grand Slam events to open 2021. The 34-year-old will take on Matteo Berrettini on Sunday at Centre Court.

Djokovic, who won both the Australian Open and French Open earlier this year, can notch his 20th career triumph at a major tournament with a victory over Berrettini. That would be a record-tying win for Djokovic, who is one Grand Slam title behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most in men's singles history.

Berrettini, meanwhile, had never previously made it past the semifinals at a major tournament.

Here's everything else you need to know heading into Sunday's Djokovic-Berrettini match.

                  

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Men's Singles Final Information

Date: Sunday, July 11

Start Time: 9 a.m. ET

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: ESPN app

                  

Preview, Prediction

Upon his arrival to Wimbledon, Djokovic went out and lost the first set of his opening-round match against unseeded Jack Draper. But there was never going to be an upset. And Djokovic made sure of it that day and every time he's stepped on the grass courts in SW19 since.

Djokovic hasn't lost a set since that first match, recording five consecutive straight-sets wins to reach the Wimbledon final for the third straight time. He won the championship in both 2018 and 2019, and he is looking to do the same again this year.

Many of the top-ranked men's players lost early in the tournament. Djokovic has faced only two seeded players (No. 10 Denis Shapovalov and No. 17 Cristian Garin) to this point, and Berrettini, the No. 7 seed, will be the highest-ranked player Djokovic will face at the event.

Still, Djokovic hasn't overlooked his competition. He's had few missteps along the way, and he's ready to take his chance at creating history.

"It would mean everything," Djokovic said, per Howard Fendrich of the Associated Press. "That's why I'm here. That's why I'm playing."

Berrettini will be looking to deny Djokovic a record-tying win. The first Italian to reach the Wimbledon final, the 25-year-old won each of his past two matches (against No. 14 Hubert Hurkacz and No. 16 Felix Auger-Aliassime) in four sets.

In two previous appearances at Wimbledon, Berrettini hadn't made it past the fourth round. His best showing at a Grand Slam event had been in the 2019 U.S. Open, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

Berrettini knows the challenge ahead of him. He's 0-2 in his career against Djokovic, which included losing to him in the quarterfinals at the French Open in June. Djokovic won that match 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5.

Even if Berrettini loses again Sunday, he's had an impressive showing. But he's not feeling satisfied.

"Obviously, the job is not done yet," Berrettini said, per Fendrich. "I want to get the trophy now that I'm here."

Unfortunately for Berrettini, that's unlikely to happen. Djokovic's Grand Slam dominance doesn't seem to be nearing an end. And being this close to history should only provide extra motivation—not that he needs it.

While Berrettini won a set last time against Djokovic, he won't fare as well against the five-time Wimbledon champion on a grass court. Djokovic will make quick work of Berrettini, winning three straight sets to seal his 20th Grand Slam title.

                 

Prediction: Djokovic beats Berrettini in straight sets.  

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