Viva Italia in London: Matteo Berrettini moved into a Grand Slam final for the first time at Wimbledon and will give the overture for the Squadra Azzurra in the final of the European Football Championship on Sunday. The 25-year-old tennis professional from Rome defeated the Pole Hubert Hurkacz 6: 3, 6: 0, 6: 7 (3: 7), 6: 4 in his second semi-final on Friday. Berrettini is only the fourth Italian in a Grand Slam final in men’s singles, and in Wimbledon even the first ever.
On Sunday (3 p.m. CEST / Sky) Berrettini will meet defending champion Novak Djokovic (Serbia), against whom he recently lost the quarter-finals at the French Open, or Denis Shapovalov (Canada). In the evening (9 p.m. / in the FAZ live ticker for the European Football Championship, on ZDF and MagentaTV) the Italian national football team fights a few kilometers away in Wembley Stadium against England for the second European Championship title after 1968.
“I’m lost for words. I need a few hours to understand what happened, “said Berrettini, who failed in his first Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open in 2019 against Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal:” I never dreamed of it because it was going to happen was big for a dream. I’m just so happy. “
In a duel between two strong servers, Berrettini, ninth in the world rankings, unexpectedly prevailed. Hurkacz (ATP-18th) had won his previous four duels with top 10 players, but could not match the shape of his surprising victories at Wimbledon against Daniil Medvedev (ATP-2nd) and record champion Roger Federer (ATP-8th) ) connect.
From the middle of the first set Berrettini won eleven games in a row and played himself into a real frenzy, only slowing down at 1-1 in the third set. Hurkacz got into the match better, but the Italian remained extremely sovereign, especially on his own serve, served a total of 22 aces (a double fault) and prevented the first Pole in the final of the men’s singles at a Grand Slam tournament at all.
Berrettini underlined his impressive shape on grass. He had already won the Wimbledon dress rehearsal at the Queen’s Club in London, and his success against Miami Champion Hurkacz was his eleventh in a row on grass. He had already won the title at the lawn tournament in Stuttgart in 2019.