Matteo Berrettini reaches Wimbledon Final with four-set victory over Hubert Hurkacz

·2-min read
Matteo Berrettini is the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam singles final since 1976 (Getty Images)
Matteo Berrettini is the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam singles final since 1976 (Getty Images)

Matteo Berrettini has reached his maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon.

The Italian world no9 will face either reigning champion Novak Djokovic or Denis Shapovalov in Sunday’s men’s showpiece at SW19 - just hours before Italy meet England in the Euro 2020 Final at Wembley - after ousting Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in four sets 6-3 6-0 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 on Centre Court on Friday afternoon.

Seventh seed Berrettini - who also powered to victory at Queen’s Club last month - is the first player from Italy ever to reach a singles final at Wimbledon.

Indeed, he is the first Italian to play in any men’s Grand Slam tennis final since Adriano Panatta won the French Open back in 1976.

“I have no words, really, thanks and I need a couple of hours to understand what happened. I played a great match, I enjoyed the crowd, my family and whole team are there. I think I never dreamed about this because it was too much for a dream. I am so happy,” Berrettini told the BBC after his semi-final triumph.

“When you play at this level everything has to be... I am trying to be the best at everything... but after the third set I was feeling I deserved to win it but lost it. I said ‘it doesn’t matter’, I was feeling the stronger player and that’s what I said to myself and eventually it paid off.”

Berrettini’s previous best Grand Slam showing to date was at the 2019 US Open, when he reached the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets.

He also reached the last eight at Roland Garros last month, losing to Djokovic, before beating British trio Andy Murray, Dan Evans and Cam Norrie en route to Queen’s glory.

Berrettini defeated Guido Pella, Botic van de Zandschulp, Aljaz Bedene, Ilya Ivashka and Felix Auger-Aliassime at Wimbledon before meeting Hurkacz, who had already shocked both Daniil Medvedev and Roger Federer to make it past the second round at a Grand Slam for the first time but was no match for the big-serving Italian.

“Relaxed is not the right word! Now, I don’t know... let’s see! So far it is the best tennis day of my life but hopefully Sunday will be even better. I feel kind of chills but I am doing it, so I have to believe it,” Berrettini added.

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