We could rely on numbers to explain Novak Djokovic's greatness. Talk about the sixth roar at the Championships or the conquest of the twentieth Grand Slam at Wimbledon 2021. It would probably be the most effective (and obviously the simplest) method of highlighting reality.
The Serbian is the greatest of the greatests. In the first, historical final with an Italian tennis player at the London Slam, the number one of the group definitively breaks the balance during the third set. "Matteo, Matteo, Matteo" shouts the crowd on 3-2 15-40.
The reaction of Djokovic, who smiles, takes the form of four consecutive points with the service. The partial number four is decided instead between the sixth and the seventh game. With Djokovic on 15-30, on serve, he avoids all problems with magic.
At his thirtieth career appearance in a Grand Slam final, that is, only one length from the 'king' of the tournament, the Serbian does not take advantage of an initial 5-2 advantage and even finds himself chasing.
A little bad. At the threshold of three and a half hours of play, the 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-4 6-4 is a manifesto. Berrettini - the third Italian in history to reach such a milestone, the first to do so in the most iconic of theaters - plays the right game.
Even if he doesn't always find the support of the serve, even if he doesn't always manage to resist on the weak diagonal. The historic Roman, however, consolidates the number eight place in the ranking, secures the podium in the Race and at Wimbledon (after a series of eleven consecutive victories over red) he is still among the best.
To beat the best, however, sometimes not even perfection is enough. In short: Djokovic joins Federer and Nadal at twenty Slams - needless to add also that he has won more big titles and that he has a better balance in the head to head on both - and looks to Tokyo and New York after having also won the Australians Open and Roland Garros.
Djokovic, who shows up with a double fault, loses control of the forehand at 15-15 and repeats the double mistake with the available serve at 30-30. Berrettini - a completely necessary presence in the middle - fails to enter the exchange at 30-40.
The Serbian champion clings to the advantages and with a much wider package of solutions finds the solutions to undermine the blue tennis player's tactical plan. Even if in the third game he finds himself at 0-30 due to a double fault (the third) and a wicked choice with the short ball.
Berrettini misses the chance to face 0-40 with an equally trivial mistake near the net and as in the logic of things he suffers the psychological backlash in the immediately following game. The 5-2 is practically a logical consequence.
Paralyzed by tension, Berrettini somehow manages to stay in the wake (and to cancel a set point in game number) and to take advantage of the first real pass of the Serbian champion. Probably affected to the same extent by the voltage.
The blue number one, who clings to the jeu decisif, does not initially take advantage of the mini-break available, but breaks the balance at 4-3 with a splendid solution of forehand in advance and keeps the service until the end.
The winning serve that the 7-5 gives is in some way a manifesto. Djokovic, a character absolutely reluctant to surrender, completely eliminates the unforced errors from the tactical project, recovers a handful of fifteen disadvantages in the opening game and delivers the decisive push.
Enhanced by a second break that yields 5-1. Berrettini - little helped by the service and above all by the shots at the beginning of the game - once again takes advantage of the void of the Serbian champion (who serves for the set with poor results at 5-2) but still closes at 0 when he finds himself for a second time in answer to stay hooked to the set.
The Serbian takes Berrettini's backhand measures - clearly the weak shot - and finds a certain continuity even with the available serve. The number one of the Italy group, tending to run out of solutions in prolonged exchanges, tries to make small improvements to the tactical plan and obviously also to stop Djokovic's escape attempt.
Go on with the 3-2 joke. When the crowd sides with a thunderous "Matteo, Matteo, Matteo" at 15-40, the five-time champion of the tournament reacts wildly and restores the hierarchy with a split of four consecutive points.
'Character' some would say. The fourth set is decided instead between the sixth and the seventh game. Djokovic, who finds himself at 0-30, asks for and obtains the support of the first serve in one case and above all resists all the attacks of Berrettini in another.
The point of 30-30 it would have been 15-40 with anyone else. Berrettini, obviously conditioned by circumstances, leaves the service on the street and obviously no longer finds sufficiently valid weapons to return. On the contrary, he can't even give himself the chance to go and answer to stay in the match at 4-5.