The boy just won the lottery. On his climb to the box to embrace triumphantly with the members of his team, Novak Djokovic (6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4 and 6-3 to Matteo Berrettini) accepts the live selfie and the young man remains ojiplático, because he has just finished be photographed with the man who has triumphed for the sixth time at Wimbledon, for the third consecutive time; with the champion who has won the big three of the season and who now, after so many laps, is finally rubbing shoulders with Rafael Nadal (35 years old) and Roger Federer (39). The Serbian (34) also collects 20 grand and the three-way dispute enters an unknown territory, attractive to the fullest: maximum equality, and everything returns to the beginning. Or not.
“I have to pay tribute to them. They are legends of our sport, the reason I am here. The journey has been very long, but this does not end here ”, warns Nole, impeccably in white and who goes on, on and on, devouring the story in two cheeks, cutting differences into bites.
Beat the Balkan again and hit another spin. Three out of three this year, in the task that really concerns him and the other two giants. Historically in tow, achieves the 20th major –The seventh of the last 12 settled– and again leaves his stamp in London, where he approaches Federer (eight for the Swiss) and stalks his idol, Pete Sampras (seven). But it is not enough. Djokovic aspires to exceptionality, he wants to be unique, and while he tastes success, he looks to the horizon and glimpses Tokyo, the Games, and a little beyond New York, where he could stand out and rule for the first time alone, sitting alone in the altar. He wants it all. This is how Nole travels to infinity, not without first solving a final full of splinters and bloody hell, resolved with a blow of authority and a lot of head.
Although he opened the duel with a double fault and some inaccuracies, as soon as he shook off the tension that he was dragging from the locker room and he calibrated the backhand well, he began to open up. Djokovic did not want to delay it, who was expanding the track and finding angles with relative slack, warning, eager to quickly close the first sleeve to send a double message: here I am the boss, there are no cracks. And there were none, until after so much acceleration and from throwing coal on the fire, he stumbled. Excessive drive, sign of hunger. It went overboard in the first set, while Berrettini endured the downpour, whole despite the onslaught. Without losing color, the Italian saved a set ball and as he regained his place and took a couple of strides on the court, he re-engaged and counterattacked. Letters up the two.
The Roman imposed his mallet on the tie-breaker and suddenly everything changed. Wimbledon is not Melbourne or Paris or Flushing Meadows, and the circumstances are what they are; that is, everything is less predictable and controllable, not random but more unpredictable. Despite the fact that the serve and the immediate lunge into the net are less and less styled, everything happens at breakneck speed and hangs by a thread; so, set down, the one from Belgrade had reason to doubt. Berrettini grew up, effervescent and with the emotional support of the stands, so that there was only room for the reaction, fast and accurate as well. Otherwise, a second misstep could be fatal. Djokovic scratched two breaks in a row and protected himself with a bigger mattress, and although it was difficult for him to put the tie in the second set, he balanced the third ball. This time, the opponent’s outburst fell short.
Once equality was returned, the feeling that the final was above all on Djokovic’s racket, and in his greater or lesser capacity to keep a cool mind, floated over the environment. You know: he and the Center Court, a particular relationship. Neither with you nor without you. The Serbian claims affection and the English fan is made to beg, it costs him to be detached. “Ma-tte-o, Mat-tte-o, Mat-tte-o!”, Was pronounced in the third sleeve, when Djokovic had already accelerated in the third game and Berrettini had two opportunities to cut him in the fifth. The number one, masterful in defense, a spider with twenty legs that covers all the gaps and that goes where no one imagines, aborted both of them and directed a look of incomprehension towards the stretcher, a half smile on his mouth: What the hell are you? happens?
That’s where the game began, the tug of war. The center wanted to march, more tennis and more entanglement, so they blatantly opted for the Roman, knowing people that Djokovic is not difficult to find tickles and that his blood boils with relative ease. If it bursts, there is Show.
However, the Balkan, looking in orbit and cold as few times during the action, did not enter the rag. “Ma-tte-o, Mat-tte-o, Mat-tte-o!”, The spectator repeated, while the chair umpire had to call to order because the runrún between point and point lasted until three or four first blows of the next. Above the environmental adversity, Nole concentrated on a duel that entered a very tough, rough phase, demanding Berrettini until the end. The eight of the world scrambled with gallantry, fearless and without a single bad gesture despite playing with his left thigh bandaged, but the trigger jammed in a key moment: with 3-3 and ball of break against, a double fault condemned him.
“Nole, Nole, Nole!”, The English stands dedicated to him at the end, surrendered to the Serbian’s devilish competitive instinct and his ambition. After more than 15 years of discussion, everything is as the beginning: 20 for Nadal, 20 for Federer and 20 for Djokovic. The latter, in any case, does not hit the brakes.