Sport Djokovic closes in on 20th grand slam win after advancing to Wimbledon final

Djokovic closes in on 20th grand slam win after advancing to Wimbledon final

France's sports minister has assured Novak Djokovic there will be no hassles at the French Open. Photo: AAP
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Novak Djokovic is one win away from a record-equalling 20th grand slam title after beating Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in straight sets to reach the Wimbledon final.

The world No.1 is in sight of a sixth All England Club triumph after overcoming big hitting 10th seed Shapovalov 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 7-5.

The defending champion will face Italy’s Matteo Berrettini — the seventh seed — in the Centre Court showpiece on Sunday.

“I don’t think the scoreline says enough about the performance or the match,” Djokovic said.

“He was serving for the first set and was probably the better player, had many chances.

“I would like to give him a big round of applause for everything he has done today and also this two weeks.

“We are going to see a lot of him in the future, he is a great player.”

Shapovalov failed to crack the toughest nut in the business. Photo: AAP

Victory on Sunday would ensure Djokovic draws level with long-time rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 major titles.

“I am trying to take out the maximum of my own abilities in each match and see what happens,” the Serbian said.”

At this stage of my career grand slams are everything and I’ve been very privileged to make history in the sport I truly love.

“Every time I hear there is something on the line that is historic it inspires me — but at the same time I have to balance it and win only the next match.”

Berrettini powered his way into a first Wimbledon final with a 6-3 6-0 6-7 (3) 6-4 win over Hubert Hurkacz.

The 25-year-old from Rome is the first man from Italy to reach a grand slam final since Adriano Panatta won the French Open in 1976.

Shapovalov wanted to become only the second Canadian man to reach the Wimbledon final. Photo: AAP

Shapovalov was bidding to become only the second Canadian man to reach the Wimbledon final and despite producing some scintillating tennis, he was left pondering what might have been after failing to crack the toughest nut in the business.

He struck 40 winners but whenever Djokovic found himself in peril, he manned the barricades, saving 10 of the 11 break points he faced and making only 15 unforced errors.

Shapovalov repeatedly put pressure on Djokovic but faltered at the crucial moments.

He failed to serve out the first set at 5-3 and then double-faulted on set point in the tiebreaker.

Djokovic saved all five break points he faced in the second set before Shapovalov double-faulted again to hand him a 6-5 lead.

Djokovic broke again for 6-5 in the third set and served out the match at love.

Shapovalov left the court with tears in his eyes but he showed enough in a marvellous run to suggest that he is ready to challenge for the biggest prizes in tennis.

A seventh final at the All England Club ties Djokovic for second on the all-time list, equalling Boris Becker, Arthur Gore and Pete Sampras. Federer has played in 12 Wimbledon finals, winning eight.