Djokovic into 7th Wimbledon final; eyes 20th GS

Novak Djokovic is into his seventh Wimbledon final.

The top-ranked Djokovic outplayed No. 10-seeded Denis Shapovalov on the key points to win their semifinal 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5.

The two-time defending champion from Serbia will face No. 7 Matteo Berrettini in Sunday’s final.

Shapovalov repeatedly put pressure on Djokovic but faltered at the crucial moments. He failed to serve out the first set at 5-3 and then double-faulted on set point in the tiebreaker.

Djokovic saved all five break points he faced in the second set before Shapovalov double-faulted again to hand him a 6-5 lead.

Djokovic broke again for 6-5 in the third set and served out the match at love.

The five-time champ is in his seventh final at the All England Club, which ties Djokovic for second on the all-time list, equaling Boris Becker, Arthur Gore and Pete Sampras. Roger Federer has played in 12 Wimbledon finals, winning eight.

While Djokovic is in familiar territory, his opponent Sunday will be making his first appearance in a Grand Slam final.

Berrettini, 25, lost his only previous major semifinal at the US Open in 2019, but now becomes the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam final in 45 years.

Seeded seventh, Berrettini used an 11-game run to grab a big lead and then held on to beat No. 14 Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-4 in Friday’s earlier semifinal.

He’s now on an 11-match winning streak on grass courts, including a title at the Queen’s Club tuneup last month, when he became the first man since Becker in 1985 to win the trophy in his debut at that event. Becker went on to triumph at Wimbledon that year.

Cheered from the stands by his girlfriend, Ajla Tomljanovic, who made it to the quarterfinals this week, Berrettini was two points from winning on four occasions in the third set, all while Hurkacz served — twice at 5-4 (both at deuce), twice at 6-5 (at 30-all and at deuce).

But Hurkacz got through those spots, then extended the contest by grabbing the tiebreaker, in which he was granted a 4-0 lead when Berrettini netted what should have been an easy forehand volley.

Hurkacz managed to regroup a bit by leaving for the locker room after the second set, and Berrettini headed off the court after the third. When play resumed, Berrettini broke to begin the fourth and soon was back on the proper path.

Berrettini has created quite a sporting Sunday in London for Italy. After he plays in the Wimbledon final that afternoon — the first for a man from his country in a title match at any major since Adriano Panatta won the 1976 French Open — Italy will meet England at Wembley Stadium in the final of soccer’s European Championship that night.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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