History-maker Matteo Berrettini the first Italian to reach Wimbledon final after beating Hubert Hurkacz
Matteo Berrettini served up a Sunday sporting double for Italy by reaching the Wimbledon final after overpowering Hubert Hurkacz in four sets.
The 25-year-old from Rome became the first Italian man to reach the SW19 showpiece after a 6-3, 6-0, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 victory.
Anticipation level 💯
Execution level 💯
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 9, 2021
The main course may be England’s date with Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday evening, but Berrettini will provide a tasty antipasti when he walks out on Centre Court at 2pm.
Certainly David Beckham, watching from the royal box, will be desperate not to sit through a similar exhibition of Italian domination at Wembley in two days’ time.
Hurkacz was the man who broke many a heart at Wimbledon on Wednesday when he knocked out eight-time champion Roger Federer, having previously accounted for second seed Daniil Medvedev.
But the Polish 14th seed was simply blown away over the first two sets as he faced the non-stop barrage that is the Berrettini serve.
Hurkacz did fashion a break point early in the opener, but the likeable 24-year-old was unable to press it home as Berrettini held for 3-3.
About half an hour and nine games later a dazed and confused Hurkacz found himself two sets down and staring at the same sort of pasting that he had handed out to Federer.
He did at least manage to make himself part of the semi-final in the third, denying Berrettini the chance to unleash his destructive forehand where possible and taking the tie-break to give the crowd, inevitably now backing the underdog, something to cheer.
But Berrettini, the Queen’s Club champion last month, immediately broke again and wrapped up victory when Hurkacz’s final return of his mammoth serve floated long.
It will be a first Grand Slam final for Berrettini, who said: “I have no words, really.
“I need a couple of hours to understand what happened. I played a great match, I enjoyed the crowd and I’m really happy. I never dreamed about this because it’s too much for a dream.
“I thought after the third set I felt I deserved to win that set and I said to myself ‘it doesn’t matter’, I felt like the stronger player. Eventually it paid off.
“It’s the best tennis day of my life. Hopefully Sunday will be even better!”
Grigor Dimitrov gives his verdict as he secures another big win in Indian Wells
Dimitrov’s revival continues as he battled past Hubert Hurkacz in a deciding set tie-break.
Cameron Norrie reaches first ATP Masters semi-final as Indian Wells win sees him become new British No 1
Cameron Norrie saw off Diego Schwartzman in the last eight.
‘I look forward to returning to the Tour in the next couple of weeks,’ says Emma Raducanu after withdrawing from WTA event
Emma Raducanu won’t be heading to Russia next week.
Billie Jean King Cup
‘I have made the decision to not play the BJK Cup Finals,’ says Leylah Fernandez
Leylah Fernandez won’t represent Canada at the upcoming Billie Jean King Cup Finals.
Exclusive – New ITF World Tennis Number set to revolutionise the game around the globe
Britain’s LTA has played a leading role in the development of the new ITF World Tennis Number.
Rafael Nadal following a very ‘specific plan’ following foot injury as he provides fitness update
“You have to be a little cautious, look a little in the medium term.”
WATCH: Tennis’ rooftop stars spend time at Rafa Nadal Academy as Roger Federer keeps his promise
Roger Federer keeps his promise as youngsters spend time at Rafa Nadal Academy.
Stefanos Tsitsipas explains how he dug himself out of the ‘red zone’ to see off Alex de Minaur in Indian Wells
“I had to go through so many difficulties in order to find a solution,” says Tsitsipas.
Andy Murray on tennis’ vaccination dilemma ahead of Australian Open: ‘I hope more players get it done’
“I support vaccination,” says Andy Murray.
Leylah Fernandez’s schedule for rest of 2021 up in the air with only Billie Jean King Cup Finals pencilled in
Leylah Fernandez “very grateful for what has happened this year”.