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It’s been an incredible Wimbledon, and to wrap things up we should have the makings of an incredible final. Novak Djokvoic will aim for his 20th Grand Slam title against first-time slam finalist Matteo Berrettini, whose skills on the grass are at a ridiculous level at the moment. With that, let’s get into my best bet for the match.
Novak Djokovic (-500) vs. Matteo Berrettini (+350)
When you look back at the short two-match history between Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini, it tells a very clear story. The World No. 1 has had little issue against the big, powerful Italian, dropping just one of six sets, most recently on the clay at Roland Garros.
While the scoreline would indicate Djokovic shouldn’t be tested much, there’s so much context needed. For starters, the first time these two ever met was at the ATP Finals, an event I put no stock into. It’s a tournament that is pretty much just put on for entertainment purposes at the end of the year, like an All-Star Game, with the top 10 players competing in London. With no ranking points on the table and fatigue catching some players, you get some strange results. Most guys are just happy to be there.
That was the case with Berrettini when he lost 6-2, 6-1 to Djokovic. Without much purpose, he displayed little urgency. The next meeting, which came just around a month ago at the French Open, was a much different story. Berrettini was able to take a set off the Djoker and push him in the fourth, but in the end there was too much working against him. For starters, while Berrettini does have a good record on clay, it’s definitely his worst surface. He doesn’t really shape his shots, and his big serve and forehand are more easily returned. There was also the fact that Djokovic’s level was incredibly high all tournament, leading him to knock off Radael Nadal, a feat which has only been accomplished at Roland Garros a few times.
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So, it was surprising to see Berrettini even challenge Djokovic there. I think the head-to-head is baked into this price, and I think those two matches really shouldn’t have anything to do with this one. Berrettini’s form on grass over the last two grass-court seasons has been insane, with a 22-2 record. We are slowly approaching Nadal-on-clay status here, with Berrettini’s huge serve and massive forehand playing up perfectly on the grass, becoming nearly unreturnable.
The Italian served incredibly well in the semis, landing 63% of his first serves and winning 86% of points behind them. His averages are around 62% and 79% over the last calendar year, so I’d say even with some regression expected with the great returning of Djokovic, those numbers would give you confidence that Berrettini can cause issues here.
It should also be noted that Djokovic looked incredibly poor in his semifinal win over Denis Shapovalov, saving 10 of 11 break points. He should have been down two sets to love, and his play at the moment doesn’t exactly make me want to back him for a decisive victory.
With that, I expect this match to be close. With Berrettini’s incredible numbers on serve and his play on this surface, he shouldn’t be broken much here, even against the greatest returner of all time. I see this spread cashing even in the event of a straight-set loss, but we probably get four or five. Berrettini should have every chance to win.
Edge: Berrettini +5.5 Games
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