Novak Djokovic has never been afraid to speak out his ambitions for the world to hear. That was true when he was a novice on the tour and to many his self-confidence was misplaced, and it has maintained deep into his 30s as he has chased down the singular goal of becoming the greatest player of his time, making no secret of what he thought he could achieve.
Over the past 13 and a half years since his marathon began with his first major title, so much of what Djokovic has meticulously planned for has and continues to be realised. On Sunday, he took one of the biggest steps of his career, recovering from a set down against a valiant Matteo Berrettini to win 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 and clinch his men’s record-equalling 20th grand slam title.
With his latest victory, Djokovic has now won the first three grand slam titles of this year and is one title away from completing the grand slam. Above all Djokovic has finally caught up with his great rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, rising to join them on a three-way tie of 20 grand slam titles. But Djokovic has risen to 20 with a bullet and he does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
This final also provided history in a different sense as Marija Cicak, a well-liked and consistent umpire from Croatia, became the first female umpire to take charge of a Wimbledon men’s singles final. Despite being only the sixth woman to umpire a men’s singles grand slam final overall, she is the third in the last five grand slam tournaments.
Throughout recent grass seasons, Berrettini’s marriage of devastating serving, his overwhelming, heavy forehand and delicate backhand slice had yielded 23 wins in his prior 25 matches including a run of 11 consecutive wins but a defining facet of Djokovic’s dominance is that while he has no weakness and his opponents have no safer part of the court to aim at, there is nobody better at finding an opponent’s weaker stroke.