Berrettini is the first Italian, male or female, to reach a singles final at Wimbledon.
“I think I never dreamed of that, because it was too much for a dream,” Berrettini said.
He was surely talking about his childhood, not his more recent past, as this race to the final couldn’t have been a complete shock in light of his results lately.
Last month he reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, pushing future champion Djokovic hard in a tense four-set match. Berrettini went on to win the turf warm-up at Queen’s Club, which was often a harbinger of success at Wimbledon.
At 6-foot-5, he has a powerful serve and one of the heaviest forehands in a sport that is packed with heavy forehands. But as he demonstrated against Hurkacz, he improved his mobility and backhand, both his blocked two-handed serve return and one-handed slice.
Hurkacz, an aggressive player with a game well suited to the grass, upset No.2 seed Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round and Federer in the quarter-finals, winning the final set 6-0 against the eight-time champion of Wimbledon.
Berrettini won the second set by the same score on Friday, and although Hurkacz lifted his game and pushed the semi-final into a fourth set, he could never find a way to break Berrettini’s serve.