Novak Djokovic won his sixth Wimbledon title, matching Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s record of 20 men’s Grand Slam victories, after outlasting Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.
The 34-year-old Serb won 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-3 in front of a raucous 15,000-person crowd on Centre Court.
The seventh seed Berrettini, 25, received a lot of support but couldn’t hold on to his lead in his first major final.
Djokovic, the top seed, has now won all three Grand Slam men’s titles in 2021.
“Winning Wimbledon was always the biggest dream for me when I was a kid. A seven-year-old boy in Serbia constructing a Wimbledon trophy with improvised materials and standing here with a sixth real trophy is incredible. It is amazing,” said the world number one.
Djokovic is the fifth man in history – and only the second in the Open era after Rod Laver in 1969 – to win the first three majors of the season, having already won the Australian Open and the French Open.
And by retaining his title at the All England Club, Djokovic has moved one step closer to becoming the second player in history to complete a ‘Golden Slam.’
Only Steffi Graf of Germany has ever won all four majors and the Olympics in the same calendar year, in 1988.
Berrettini saved two match points in the fourth set, saving them with a controlled volley and a 101mph forehand winner down the line. However, the Italian was unable to hold off the third as he sliced a backhand into the net.
After a hard-fought victory, Djokovic collapsed flat on his back with his arms outstretched, while Berrettini’s contrasting emotions on the opposite baseline – bending over double with his hands on his knees – demonstrated the effort he had expended in defeat.
After receiving applause from the Centre Court crowd, Djokovic climbed up to his support team to celebrate before taking a few seconds to take a selfie with one young fan.
Djokovic has made no secret of his desire to make history, having already spent more weeks as the world number one than any other man and now aiming for the most major titles.
Federer, who is nearly six years older than Djokovic, had 12 of his 20 majors when he won his first Slam at the 2008 Australian Open. When Federer won his 16th in 2010, Djokovic was still on one.
For the first time, Djokovic has caught up to Federer – and Nadal, who caught up to the Swiss at last year’s French Open.
“I have to pay tribute to Rafa and Roger. They are legends of our sport and the two greatest players I have faced,” said Djokovic, who won his second Grand Slam in 2011 and has now won a total of 19 in the past decade.
“They are the reason why I am where I am today. They made me realize what I had to do to get stronger – mentally, physically and tactically. The last 10 years have been an incredible journey that is not stopping here.”