Novak Djokovic has won a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title and sixth Wimbledon crown on Monday morning (AEST) with a four-set victory over Italian slugger Matteo Berrettini with rival superstar Roger Federer hailing the achievement as a “wonderful performance”.
The world number one triumphed 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-4 6-3 to move level on 20 majors with Federer and Rafael Nadal.
His victory has put him three-quarters of the way to the first calendar Grand Slam of all four majors since 1969.
“I could definitely envisage that happening and I hope I will give it a shot. I’m in great form and played well and having my best form at Grand Slams is my number one priority,” said Djokovic.
This was Djokovic’s sixth victory at the All England Club, who was playing his 30th final.
The win has been added to his previous achievements, as he has won nine Australian Opens, two Roland Garros and three US Open titles.
Should he win a fourth title in New York in September, he will become just the third man in history after Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) to complete the calendar Grand Slam.
“It was more than a battle. He is a true Italian hammer, I felt it on my skin,” said Djokovic of Berrettini.
Of sharing the majors record with Federer and Nadal, he added: “It means none of us three will stop. Roger and Rafa are legends, they are the reason I am where I am today.
“They showed me what I needed to do to get stronger, physically, tactically and mentally. Over the last 10 years it has been an incredible journey that’s not stopping here.”
But despite his incredible efforts, Djokovic was not the crowd favourite.
Earlier in the tournament he was given a frosty reception, with spectators leaning towards Berrettini.
Tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg noted “these are some loud ‘Matt-e-o!’ chants” while Adam Peacock tweeted: “Novak could be playing a parking officer and still have minority support.”
However, the top seed wasn’t going to be affected. After saving two break points to hold for 4-2 in the third set, Djokovic insisted he couldn’t hear the crowd.
“I can’t hear you,” he said as he cupped his ear with his racquet.
One English TV commentator said: “That’s a very strong hold and that’s full of character. Who do you think you’re dealing with here? The best player of all time.
“To come here and win five times, ‘You still don’t love me? How dare you’.”
Another commentator added: “That’s exactly the conversation he’s having.”
In a post-match press conference, Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic said: “The crowd, it’s normal they were for Matteo, they want him. But still he (Djokovic) is amazing. He doesn’t want to go. Like in the movies. You have to kill the guy 27 times & still he gets up & you have to kill him again & he gets up, he gets up. He just, you can’t.”
Ivanisevic also said he thinks the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) debate in men’s tennis is already closed in favour of his charge, but added: “If he wins the US Open, I think it’s over.”
This article originally appeared on Over60.