2021 Wimbledon: Matteo Berrettini advances to his first major final
Seventh seed Matteo Berrettini advanced to his first Grand Slam final after beating Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-final of 2021 Wimbledon. The 25-year-old became the first finalist in London this year, having defeated Hurkacz 6-3, 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-4. Berrettini will play either world number one Novak Djokovic or 10th seed Denis Shapovalov in the grand finale. Here are further details.
The first set was evenly contested, with both Berrettini and Hurkacz playing with zeal. However, the Italian broke first to win the first set 6-3. Berrettini further raised his game, winning the second set 6-0 in just 23 minutes. Hurkacz made a terrific comeback in the next set. He comprehensively won the tie-break. The former finally sailed through by winning the fourth set.
Berrettini has become the first Italian (man or woman) to reach a singles final at Wimbledon. He is just the third man from his country to reach a Grand Slam championship match. Earlier this year, Berrettini reached the quarter-final at Roland Garros. Before the ongoing tournament, his best run at a major came in the 2019 US Open when he reached the semis.
Berrettini now has a 24-5 tour-level record on grass. He has extended his winning streak on the surface to 11 matches. This was his first ATP match-win against Hurkacz. The Italian boasts a win-loss record of 32-6 in the ongoing season. Ahead of 2021 Wimbledon, Berrettini triumphed at the Queen's Club Championships, where he lifted the biggest trophy of his career.
There were three first-time Wimbledon men's singles semi-finalists, Berrettini, Hurkacz, and Shapovalov, for the first time in 15 years. Notably, Rafael Nadal, Jonas Bjorkman, and Marcos Baghdatis advanced to the last four in the 2006 edition of Wimbledon.
Only three Italian men other than Berrettini have reached a major final, Nicola Pietrangeli (1959-1961, 1964 Roland Garros), Adriano Panatta (1976 Roland Garros), and Giorgio de Stefani (1934 Roland Garros). Berrettini will next challenge the winner of second semi-final between Djokovic and Shapovalov. He could become the first Italian man to lift a major trophy since Panatta, who won the 1976 French Open.