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Matteo Berrettini became the first Italian to reach the Wimbledon men’s singles final with a dominant victory over Pole Hubert Hurkacz.
The seventh seed and Queen’s champion used his big forehand and served to purpose in a 6-3 6-0 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 win.
He will face seeded Novak Djokovic or Denis Shapovalov in Sunday’s showpiece, just hours before his country faces England in the Euro 2020 football final.
Berrettini is the first Italian to reach a Grand Slam final since 1976.
“I have no words, really,” Berrettini said. “I need a few hours to figure out what happened.
“I think I never dreamed of this because it was too much for a dream. “
Berrettini shoots 22 aces to reach the final
Berrettini, 25, had been tipped by many for a deep run at Wimbledon after his performances at Queen’s, where he became the first player to win the title on his debut at the event since Boris Becker in 1985.
It will not have escaped the Italian that the German Becker won the title at the All England Club that year.
It wasn’t just his power on the serve and forehand that made the crowd gasp, it was also his pinpoint accuracy that proved a weapon during a smooth passage to the final in which he failed. lost only three sets.
Hurkacz, appearing in his first Grand Slam semi-final, had a confident start with a grip on love in the game’s opener and picked up three break points in his next service game before giving Berrettini a break with an effort controlled the net.
It was part of a series of 11 straight games the Italian won before Hurkacz, 24, finally held his serve and started making it a game by taking the third set from a tie-break he quickly controlled.
Hurkacz had the crowded center court crowd behind him, perhaps more sympathetic at the start when his shot had disintegrated. The net played in Berrettini’s favor and even his Hawk-Eye challenge showed the point was against him by the width of a blade of grass.
They roared and so did he when a forehand from Berrettini crashed into the net to bring the game into a fourth set and make it a more competitive spectacle.
But 14th seed Hurkacz, who had knocked out eight-time champion Roger Federer in straight sets in the quarter-finals, then collapsed as Berrettini relaxed and regained his form.
He failed to convert a match point on the Pole’s serve at 5-3 but made no mistakes in the next game, where he set up a match point with his 22nd ace.
He sealed the victory with another huge serve that Hurkacz could only return for a long time to become the first Italian man since Adriano Panatta at Roland Garros 1976 to reach a major singles final.