Tennis

JOHN LLOYD: Matteo Berrettini must knock Novak Djokovic out with early blows in Wimbledon final

JOHN LLOYD: Matteo Berrettini has a phenomenal one-two punch with his serve and forehand… he must knock Novak Djokovic out with early blows in Wimbledon final

  • Matteo Berrettini is the one guy who has the weapons to beat Novak Djokovic
  • In three-set matches you have a chance but over the best of five he’s brutal 
  • He must have his best service day and take chances on Djokovic’s second serve 

If I was coaching Matteo Berrettini, I’d hypnotise him, and say: ‘Don’t look at who you’re playing!’ 

Novak Djokovic throws up this barrier and says, ‘Get past me, and do it for five sets’. Over best of three sets you have a chance against him but over best of five he’s brutal. All top players have this aura and it’s worth a couple of games in a match.

I don’t think Djokovic has played his best these two weeks but if things aren’t going right he’ll go to plan B and then plan C and then back to plan A. You’ve got to deliver fatal blows to him, constantly, over three or four hours. It’s almost impossible.

Matteo Berrettini is the one guy who has the weapons to beat Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon

Matteo Berrettini is the one guy who has the weapons to beat Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon

But Berrettini is the one guy who has the weapons to beat him. He has a phenomenal one-two punch with the serve and forehand and against Djokovic you have to have that; you have to knock him out with early blows. 

If you don’t, he’s going to get you. If you start getting into six, seven-shot rallies you ain’t winning.

So Berrettini’s job is to shorten the points and go slightly out of his comfort zone. 

On Djokovic’s second serve he must take some chances. He’s playing against probably the best returner that ever lived. 

Djokovic has eased through to the final as expected but will have his work cut out on Sunday

Djokovic has eased through to the final as expected but will have his work cut out on Sunday

For him to beat Djokovic he’s got to be at 70 per cent first serves in, and his average this tournament has been 60 per cent. He’s got to have the best service day of his life.

I’d tell him, ‘Your serve is unbeatable. When you’re hitting it in the pockets, there could be two Djokovics out there, it’s not coming back.

‘Have total focus because at some stage Djokovic is going to miss and when he does you’ve got to take advantage. Don’t blink, if you blink you’re done.’

I think it’s a 70-30 match but if Berrettini plays as well as he can — and doesn’t look across the net — it could be a pretty special match.

The Italian will have to have the best service day of his life to beat Djokovic on the big stage

The Italian will have to have the best service day of his life to beat Djokovic on the big stage


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