Djokovic toughest player to beat currently, says Wimbledon runner-up Berrettini

Wimbledon 2021 runner-up Matteo Berrettini says Novak Djokovic is “one of the best” and the toughest player to beat currently.

Italy's Matteo Berrettini attends a press conference after being defeated by Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the men's final against at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Sunday, July 11, 2021. (Joe Toth/Pool via AP)   -  AP

Wimbledon 2021 runner-up Matteo Berrettini said that Novak Djokovic was “one of the best” and the toughest player to beat currently.

“Thanks to him, I'm going to try to get better. Like he said, he was losing against Rafa and Roger (Federer), and thanks to them he improved. That's what I'll try to do,” he said.

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Berrettini  learned some harsh lessons during his defeat by Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday but he is sure he can grow from the experience and return to lift the trophy. Although World No. 1 Djokovic was the overwhelming favourite to win the title, an upset victory for the 25-year-old Berrettini had not been completely ruled out by pundits.

After all, with his booming serves and crushing forehands, the Italian came into the showpiece match on Centre Court having won the Wimbledon lead-up event at Queen's.

But, despite Djokovic losing the opening set on a tiebreak, Berrettini nearly always looked second-best in the match.

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"Obviously now I'm disappointed," the seventh seed, who was bidding to become the first Italian to win the Wimbledon singles title, told reporters.

He expressed his disappointment in his approach rather than the results and said that he didn’t think he “played his best match.”


But, Berrettini was also keen to see the positives in his strong run on grass this season and was confident he would return to claim the title at the All England Club.

“I know that I can win this title. I'm not sure if I'm going to do it, but I know I can do it,” Berrettini said.

“So that's what I'm going to do in the next weeks, in the next months and years: try to lift the trophy.”

Berrettini was beaten by Rafa Nadal in his maiden Grand Slam semifinal at the 2019 US Open and also lost to Djokovic in the French Open quarterfinals last month.

“Probably it would mean even more if you're able to win against Novak in the finals,” he said. “The most important thing for me is that right now I'm losing... against the best players in the world,” he said.

He added that the such losses meant his level was growing and he felt that was the right thing for him to do.

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