Wimbledon Tennis 2021 Men's Final: Early Predictions for Djokovic at US Open

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2021

Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the winner's trophy and celebrates his victory over Italy's Matteo Berrettini during the men's singles final on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (Steve Paston/Pool Via AP)
Steve Paston/Associated Press

He had to wait until championship point No. 3 to do it, but Novak Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to win his sixth Wimbledon title.

With the win, the 34-year old Serbian now has 20 Grand Slams to match the record number set by both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

"It means none of us three will stop, that's what it means," Djokovic said when asked what it meant to match Federer and Nadal's record 20 Grand Slams. "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 I am where I am today. They have helped me realize what I need to do to get stronger, physically, mentally and tactically."

Djokovic pointed out that his fortunes as a player changed at the end of 2010 and start of 2011, adding that it began "an incredible journey that is not stopping here."

Wimbledon @Wimbledon

60 titles. 18 years. 3 legends. One golden era 🌟 #Wimbledon https://t.co/AwCJLmkDxC

After dropping the first set to Berrettini, the capacity crowd got behind the 25-year old Italian player.

But Djokovic put that aside and got back to business.

He began swinging through the ball better, played within himself and dominated down the stretch.

Berrettini woudn't just go away, though.

He gave the No. 1-ranked player in the world an admirable fight through all four sets.

"For sure, Novak was better than me. He is a great champion. He's writing the history of the sport so he deserves all the credit," Berrettini said after the match. "I'm really happy with the final. Hopefully it won't be my last one here or last one in general. It's an unbelievable feeling."

Now that he's matched his two greatest rivals, Djokovic has his eyes set on the Calendar Grand Slam, which begins with a victory at the U.S. Open.

It won't be a walk in the park, though, as there are more players that can threaten Djokovic on a hard court than a grass court.

One of those threats is Dominic Thiem, ranked No. 5 in the world and the reigning US Open champion.

Thiem is recovering from a wrist injury and there's a possibility that he might not be able to defend his title at Flushing Meadows.

"I somehow hope that I may be able to play the US Open. As defending champion, playing in New York would be a dream," Thiem said on his website. "But still, I must not be disappointed in case it won’t work out."

Last year's runner-up Alexander Zverev could be another threat, as well as Stefanos Tsitsipas, who fell to Djokovic at the French Open back in June.

"The younger generation, we are hungry and we want something similar," Tsitsipas told ESPN's Kathleen McNamee two weeks ago about Djokovic's pursuit of the calendar Golden Slam. "Obviously we want to stop him and we want to put a stop to that dream of his."


With Djokovic catching Federer, the question is will they face off at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center?

Roger Federer @rogerfederer

Congrats Novak on your 20th major. I'm proud to have the opportunity to play in a special era of tennis champions. Wonderful performance, well done!

The latter last won the U.S. Open in 2008, the former last won it in 2018.

Nadal won it in 2019, so if he plays, he's a huge threat to all comers.

But this is Djokovic's year. He's on a tear in tennis and it looks as if he can't be stopped.

And he won't be. 

Look for Djokovic to continue his quest for the Golden Slam with another U.S. Open win.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.