I want to write my ass off about tomorrow’s final. I really do.
But I had a long day watching my boy battle it out on the pitch, it’s tournament time, and I finally just grabbed a shower, so I’m sipping a nice cold beer before I turn in (after watching some Tour de France highlights) because I have an early up for more tournament play tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s men’s final certainly has some intrigue, which comes in the form of what’s at stake for Novak and what seems possible for Berrettini. Like the French, a couple of weeks ago (what a scheduling joke), there is a ton at stake for Novak. There’s the 20 majors metric that’s larger than life. The 6th WB title is another biggie.
But I do think of the Calendar GS, the four-in-a-row, not the Novak Slam that he pulled off in 2014-2015. This ices everyone’s cake, even the critics. This is Laver-like.
And of course we would have the Golden Slam in play, as well.
Big time stuff for the Serb and that’s an understatement.
Let me remind everyone of my almost cheesy take in a recent post following the 2021 French where I said the slam count is over-rated (almost), as it misses the point. I said this in response to that SF between Djokovic and Nadal. The tennis was at such a high level that everything else became secondary and we could say that about a lot of the tennis between those three gents at the top, even about the tennis we’ve enjoyed throughout history. This is truly what matters, no?
I heard this same sentiment tonight on Twitter from a knowledgeable tennis mind. I agree that the tennis, the quality, the drama. . . is where the real money resides, the real charm, the most important understanding of the sport.
But of course the numbers and the titles quantify, in an instant, which we all appreciate, as superficial as that understanding may be.
In light of my previous point and the echo of this same argument I heard on Twitter tonight, let’s hope Novak rises to the occasion and plays his usual genius tennis on Centre Court. Something for the ages, which is likely to be the case given the context.
Likewise, let us bask in the idea, the possibility, that Berrettini could play a huge match tomorrow and put forth a legitimate challenge to the world #1, potentially eclipsing all of that glory and glamour we just referenced (above), what’s at stake for Djokovic.
The Italian’s serve and FH are massive, in combination, real threats, the classic serve and plus one. Matteo has this combination in his bag and uses this to win a lot of easy points, hold lots of serve and put more pressure on, in this case, Novak.
The FH is a big shot but his BH slice works very well, too. I don’t think Novak will have too much difficulty getting low to deal with this, but it’s a tricky delivery from Berrettini. He can move about the grass with some real fluency, which we see in his grass results.
Berrettini is legitimate. He might be even more legitimate than a Del Potro, who despite all of the massive artillery in his game had years of losing at the hands of the Big 3 to ever get beyond the one major. Berrettini’s ignorance might be part of his bliss. He seems very confident.
Novak’s start to this match will be critical in how that confidence or belief maintains its trajectory, its endurance.
Something tells me this will be a close match: Novak in five sets. But if the Serb comes-out in his assassin’s attire, we could be in for a more clinical proceeding. I can not wait to watch the dynamic play-out concerning the Italian’s serve vs the Serb’s ROS. 😉
In other words, I do like Novak in this match. Tough to think he would let an opportunity like this slip away.
Enjoy the match!