The first commercial aircraft broke the space barrier while Novak Djokovic was playing his seventh Wimbledon final and battling it out on the Centre Court against Matteo Berrettini who was playing his first final at the majors. After three hours 24 minutes Nole was champion again 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 and his excitement suggested never mind space because he was floating among the stars.
On championship point three, Djokovic and Berrettini engaged in a short rally and the Italian netted his return. Faster than a split-second Djokovic was flat on his back, spreadeagled on the grass with his face beaming as he looked up at the sky. He had won his sixth Wimbledon but also, he had tied Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal with 20 majors, the most in men’s tennis history.
Novak had won his 85th career title and he is the fifth man in history to have won the first three legs of the calendar year Grand Slam – the last time that was done was in 1969 by Rd Laver. Novak was asked if he considers himself the best.
“I consider myself best and I believe that I am the best, otherwise I wouldn't be talking confidently about winning slams and making history,” Djokovic said. “But whether I'm the greatest of all time or not, I leave that debate to other people.
“I said before that it's very difficult to compare the eras of tennis. We have different racquets, technology, balls, courts. It's just completely different conditions that we're playing in, so it's very hard to compare tennis, say, from 50 years ago to today.
“But I am extremely honoured to definitely be part of the conversation.”
For Berrettini there was plenty of disappointment that he was not able to pressure Djokovic even more. The Italian had slow starts in the first two sets and while he played very bravely to recover especially in the first, Djokovic was taking advantage of his lesser experience in the final of a major.
The crowd was certainly working overtime to boost Berrettini and he did respond but Novak is all too familiar with such situations. Berrettini said Djokovic had to be commended for the way he played but as for himself he was very encouraged.
“It's been like a month on grass really, really great. I won Queen's. I didn't expect to win there. I reached the finals here. Is something that, like I said after I won the semis, didn't even dream about this because it was even too much,” Berrettini said.
“Obviously now, I'm disappointed because I lost, because I think I didn't play my best match, but I have to say it's thanks to Novak in a way that he brought me, made me play in this way. That's his strength probably. That's why he's one of the best that ever did. Congrats to him.
“Obviously for me it's been unbelievable two weeks. But I know that I can do it. I know that I can win this title. I'm not sure if I'm going to do it, but I know I can do it. So that's what I'm going to do in the next weeks, in the next months and years: try to lift the trophy.”
The doubles title went to Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, they defeated Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-4 7-6(5), 2-6, 7-5.