Djokovic Joins Federer, Nadal Atop Grand Slam List

34-year-old bounces back for 4-set Wimbledon victory
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 11, 2021 12:09 PM CDT
Djokovic Joins Federer, Nadal Atop Grand Slam List
Novak Djokovic plays a return Sunday in the men's final at Wimbledon.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Novak Djokovic tied Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal by claiming his 20th Grand Slam title Sunday, coming back to beat Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final. The No. 1-ranked Djokovic earned a third consecutive championship at the All England Club and sixth overall, the AP reports. He adds that to nine titles at the Australian Open, three at the US Open and two at the French Open to equal his two rivals for the most majors won by a man in tennis history. He paid tribute to Federer and Nadal after receiving his trophy Sunday, per the Independent. "I think they are the reason where I am today, they helped me to improve mentally, physically, tactically," Djokovic told the crowd. "When I broke into the Top 10 I lost most of the matches against these two guys."

This was Djokovic's 30th major final—among men, only Federer has played more, 31—and the first for Berrettini, a 25-year-old from Italy seeded No. 7. The opening game featured signs of edginess from both, but especially from Djokovic, whose pair of double-faults contributed to the half-dozen combined unforced errors, compared with zero winners for either. He faced a break point but steadied himself and held there. Contending with Berrettini's 137mph serve, Djokovic faltered in ways he rarely does but fought his way back into the match. The 34-year-old from Serbia is now the only man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the first three major tournaments in a season. He can complete a calendar-year Grand Slam—something last accomplished by a man when Laver did it 52 years ago—at the US Open, which starts Aug. 30. "The last 10 years have been an incredible journey that is not stopping here," Djokovic said Sunday.

(More Novak Djokovic stories.)

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