The defending champion, Novak Djokovic, was in merciless form on Friday, thrashing Denis Shapovalov to go to the Wimbledon final.
The world No. 1 advanced in straight sets — 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 7-5, however, the final score does not represent Shapovalov’s performance in his maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Djokovic, however, was in his 41st Grand Slam semifinal, underlining the importance of experience and mental resilience at this stage of the game.
In Sunday’s final, he’ll try for a record-tying 20th major victory, which would tie him with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the most men’s Grand Slam titles.
“The dream continues. Every match, I’m trying to push myself to the limit of my skills and see what happens.
During his on-court interview, Djokovic declared, “Giving up is never an option.”
“Grand Slams are everything, especially at this point in my career; I’ve been tremendously lucky to make history in a sport that I love, and it fills my heart.”
“It inspires me every time I hear that something historic is on the line, but I also have to balance it out and win the next match.”
Djokovic goes for broke
Despite his teenage opponent’s early promise, Novak Djokovic dug deep and was able to turn it on when it counted most, leaving Shapovalov a disappointing figure on the court at times.
After Shapovalov failed to serve out the first set, a tiebreak was required to separate the two men.
In the second set, the Canadian squandered yet another opportunity, with Djokovic surviving five break points before taking his one and only chance to break him and take the set.
“Every time I hear that something historic is on the line, it inspires me, but I also have to balance it and win simply the next match.”
Despite his teenage opponent’s early promise, Djokovic dug deep and was able to turn it on when it counted most, leaving Shapovalov a disappointing figure on the court at times.
But, in the end, it was a familiar scenario. Djokovic simply reached a new level on critical points, a trait that has helped him win 19 Grand Slam titles in his career, and broke Shapovalov’s final service game.
As he walked off the court, Shapovalov was in tears, while Djokovic, clearly fired up, complimented his opponent for an outstanding effort.
He’s a fantastic player
“I don’t think the scoreline tells the whole story,” Djokovic continued. He served for the first set and was certainly the better player for the majority of the second set, with numerous opportunities. I’d like to offer him a standing ovation for everything he’s done today and in the last few weeks. You could see he was upset, but we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the future; he’s a fantastic player. Novak Djokovic will now face Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the Wimbledon final, where he will attempt to win his sixth Wimbledon title. After bludgeoning his way through the brave Hubert Hurkacz earlier on Friday, Berrettini became the first Italian man to reach a grass-court Grand Slam final.