9th July, 2021
By Abankula with agency reports
Defending champion Novak Djokovic left Canadian Denis Shapovalov in tears on Friday after squeezing out another tough victory to make his 7th Wimbledon final.
The Serb absorbed a barrage of powerful hitting from Shapovalov to prevailed 7-6(3) 7-5 7-5.
The victory kept him on course to equal Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal’s 20 Grand Slam titles.
He has also matched Federer’s 30 Grand Slam finals.
The 34-year-old was eclipsed at times by his 22-year-old opponent on an overcast Centre Court.
But as he almost always does, he converted his chances in clinical fashion to set up a Sunday showdown with Italian Matteo Berrettini.
The Italian is also on course to make history, bidding to become the first Italian to win Wimbledon.
The 25 year-old has already cut a place in the records as the first Italian to reach the final at Wimbledon.
Berrettini defeated Federer’s conqueror, Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in four sets.
Tenth seed Shapovalov was bidding to become only the second Canadian man to reach the Wimbledon final.
Despite producing some scintillating tennis, he was left pondering what might have been after failing to crack Djokovic, the toughest nut in the business.
He struck 40 winners but whenever Djokovic found himself in peril, he manned the barricades, saving 10 of the 11 break points he faced and making only 15 unforced errors as he refused to be derailed in his pursuit of a 20th Grand Slam title.
Djokovic won the opening set despite Shapovalov serving for it at 5-4, then saved several break points in the second as his opponent threw the kitchen sink at the five-time champion.
Even in the third set Shapovalov continued shooting from the hip but eventually his fire blew out as Djokovic claimed one of the toughest straight sets wins of his Wimbledon career.
Although Shapovalov left the court with tears in his eyes, he showed enough in a marvellous run to suggest that he is ready to challenge for the biggest prizes in tennis.