Matteo Berrettini dreams of ‘special Sunday’ for Italy as he sets sights on Wimbledon title
Matteo Berrettini powered his way into the Wimbledon final to set up a spectacular sporting double-header for Italy on Sunday.
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 over Hubert Hurkacz.
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.
And Berrettini hopes he can provide the first half of what could prove to be a ‘Domenica speciale’, or special Sunday, for his home nation.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 9, 2021
“I think we deserve it. It’s great day, a great sport day. I’m really happy that together with football now we are one of the biggest sports in Italy,” he said.
“I would say buy a nice TV if you don’t have one already because I think it’s going to be a special Sunday for all of us.
“It’s something crazy to believe for us, obviously let’s say in tennis, because it never happened. So it’s something that nobody expected – me in the first place.
“Then for the football, I mean we didn’t qualify for the World Cup, so after that the job that they did, how hard they worked, the effort that they put, I think they really deserve this final.
“Obviously I’m going to think first about mine. Then, if I have the chance, I’m going to watch them.”
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 reached his maiden grand slam final when Hurkacz’s last return of his mammoth serve floated long.
Hurkacz said: “Matteo played an unbelievable match today. Every single service game he was serving bombs.
“I didn’t have many chances, basically probably zero. So huge congrats for him that he kept such a high level throughout the whole four sets.”
Daniil Medvedev sets up Novak Djokovic clash in Astana: ‘I am really happy to play against Novak’
It’s Medvedev vs Djokovic in the Astana semi-final.
Novak Djokovic has new insect species named after him and shared attributes include speed, elasticity
Introducing the “Duvalius djokovici”.
Nick Kyrgios ‘heartbroken’ after withdrawing from Japan Open as he gives update on injury
“When your body lets you down, it’s not a good feeling.”
Emma Raducanu must learn to enjoy her game and settle on a coach, says tennis doyenne Sue Barker
Sue Barker has some advice for Emma Raducanu.
Martina Navratilova feels ‘women’s tennis is in good hands with Iga Swiatek at the top’
Martina Navratilova impressed by Iga Swiatek.
Serena Williams ‘paved the way’ for mothers to keep playing after giving birth, says Martina Navratilova
“I think you will see more and more women playing well into their 30s.”
Daniil Medvedev was invited to play at Laver Cup, but British government ‘hinted it wouldn’t work’
Daniil Medvedev’s Laver Cup omission explained.
Andy Murray accepts wildcard into ATP 250 event as he eyes rankings boost ahead of 2023 season
Andy Murray to play in inaugural Gijon Open.
Imperious Novak Djokovic learning from previous enforced break as he notches up 13th win in a row
Novak Djokovic is on a roll.
Former Roland Garros semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska praised by Billie Jean King after coming out as lesbian
“You are a true role model in the fight for equality.”