Wimbledon: Matteo Berrettini ends the hopes of Roger Federer's conqueror Hubert Hurkacz to reach final
Matteo Berrettini follows in the footsteps of the Italian national football team by reaching a major final; the Queen's Club champion will take on the winner of the second semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Denis Shapovalov before Italy face England in the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday
By Raz Mirza at Wimbledon
Last Updated: 09/07/21 7:31pm
Matteo Berrettini became the first Italian player - man or woman - to reach a singles final at Wimbledon after he defeated Hubert Hurkacz in four sets on Friday.
Berrettini recorded his 11th grass-court win of the season with a 6-3 6-0 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 victory over the 14th-ranked Pole to book his spot in his maiden Grand Slam final.
The win ensured he became the first Italian man to reach a Slam final since Adriano Panatta won the Roland Garros title in 1976.
Having already claimed the Queen's Club title last month, Berrettini is a man in red-hot form heading into the final, where he will play the winner of the second semi-final between world No 1 Novak Djokovic and Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov.
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"I have no words, really," said Berrettini, who was being supported by his family and girlfriend, Ajla Tomljanovic.
"I need a couple of hours to understand what happened. I played a great match, I enjoyed the crowd and I'm really happy. I never dreamed about this because it's too much for a dream.
"I thought after the third set I felt I deserved to win that set and I said to myself, 'it doesn't matter', I felt like the stronger player. Eventually, it paid off.
"It's the best tennis day of my life. Hopefully, Sunday will be even better!"
Hurkacz was the man who broke many a heart at Wimbledon on Wednesday when he knocked out eight-time champion Roger Federer, having previously accounted for second seed Daniil Medvedev.
But the Pole was simply blown away over the first two sets as he faced the non-stop barrage that is the Berrettini serve.
Berrettini vs Hurkacz: Match Stats
|86%||1st serve win percentage||68%|
|61%||2nd serve win percentage||50%|
|6/10||Break points won||0/2|
|127||Total points won||97|
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Hurkacz did at least manage to make himself part of the semi-final in the third, denying Berrettini the chance to unleash his destructive forehand where possible and taking the tie-break to give the crowd, inevitably now backing the underdog, something to cheer.
But Berrettini immediately broke again and wrapped up victory when Hurkacz's final return of his mammoth serve floated long.
"Matteo played unbelievable match today," said Hurkacz. "Huge congrats to him. I mean, every single service game, he was serving bombs. I didn't have many chances, basically probably zero. So huge congrats for him that he kept such a high level throughout the whole four sets."