Friday, July 9, 2021

Djokovic can tie mark vs. Berrettini in Wimbledon final

Novak Djokovic practices at Indian Wells in 2019.
Photo by Harjanto Sumali
   Novak Djokovic is one victory from tying Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with a record 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles.
   Standing in Djokovic's way is hard-serving Matteo Berrettini.
   The top-ranked Djokovic dismantled No. 10 seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5 today in the Wimbledon semifinals for his 17th consecutive victory, including the French Open title.
   Djokovic remains on track for the first men's calendar-year Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969 and the fourth ever. He also can join Steffi Graf (1988) as the only players to achieve a Golden Slam, which includes an Olympic singles gold medal. The Olympics dropped tennis between 1924 and 1988. 
   The seventh-seeded Berrettini defeated 14th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 6-3, 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-4 to reach his first Grand Slam final and become the first Italian to advance that far at Wimbledon. 
   Djokovic improved to 7-0 against Shapovalov, a 22-year-old left-hander with a spectacular one-handed backhand.
   Shapovalov, who lost in the first round of the 2016 Fairfield (Calif.) Challenger at 17, converted only one of 11 break-point opportunities. He served for the first set at 5-4, double-faulted to drop the set and double-faulted on break point at 5-5 in the second set.
  The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Berrettini, 25, pounded 22 aces en route to his 11th straight victory. He won Queen's Club on grass in London two weeks before Wimbledon. 
   Djokovic is 2-0 against Berrettini, including a 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 decision in the French Open quarterfinals last month. They will meet on grass for the first time. 
   Meanwhile, No. 3 seeds Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei and Elise Mertens of Belgium defeated No. 5 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in the women's doubles semifinals.
   Mertens reached the singles semifinals of the inaugural (2018) Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, Calif. Shibahara, a 23-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, played at Wimbledon for the first time this year.
   In the second round of girls doubles, No. 1 seeds Kristina Dmitruk of Belarus and Diana Shnaider of Russia dismissed Clervie Ngounoue, 14, of Washington, D.C., and Alexandra Yepifanova, an incoming Stanford freshman from Lake Worth, Fla., 6-2, 6-2. 

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