Novak Djokovic reaches Wimbledon final after beating Denis Shapovalov
Posted On July 15, 2021
The world No.1 progressed in straight sets – 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 7-5 – but the end result does not reflect how well Shapovalov performed in what was his first semi-final of the Grand Slam.
Meanwhile, Djokovic was playing in his 41st Grand Slam semi-final and showed how important experience and mindset is at this stage of the tournament.
He will now look to win a record-breaking 20th major title in Sunday’s final which would place him alongside Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the most men’s Grand Slam titles.
“The dream continues. I try to make the most of my ability in every game and see what happens. Giving up is never an option,” Djokovic said during his interview on the pitch.
“Especially at this point in my career, the Grand Slams are really everything. I have been very privileged to make history in the sport that I truly love. It fills my heart.”
“Every time I hear that there is something historic going on it inspires me, but at the same time I have to balance it out and only win the next game.”
READ: Matteo Berrettini beats Hubert Hurkacz to become first Italian to reach Wimbledon final
Djokovic digs deep
Although his young opponent showed real promise throughout the game, Djokovic dug deep and was able to activate it when it really mattered, leaving Shapovalov a frustrated figure on the pitch at times.
A tie-break was needed to separate the two men in a biting first set after Shapovalov failed to serve.
The Canadian lost even more chances in the second, with Djokovic surviving five break points before seizing his one and only chance to break the Canadian and win the set.
Shapovalov was clearly frustrated as both players prepared for the third, with the 22-year-old scolding the chair umpire over a controversial call that gave Djokovic the second set.
Flaming, Shapovalov started the third set impressively and was cheered on by those watching on center court.
But it was a familiar story at the end. On the big points, Djokovic simply found a new level – a trait that has seen him win a total of 19 career Grand Slam titles – and shattered Shapovalov’s last serving game.
Shapovalov was in tears as he left the pitch as the clearly puffed up Djokovic congratulated his opponent on an extraordinary performance.
“He’s a great player”
“I don’t think the score says enough about the game,” added Djokovic.
“He was serving in the first set and he was probably the best player for most of the second set, he had a lot of chances.
“I would like to give him a big round of applause for everything he has done today and also in recent weeks.
“You could see he was emotional, but we’re going to see him a lot in the future, he’s a great player.”
Djokovic will now face Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the final where he will seek to win his sixth Wimbledon title.
Berrettini became the first Italian to reach the turf Grand Slam final after pushing his way past brave Hubert Hurkacz earlier on Friday.