Wimbledon semi-finals: Berrettini v Hurkacz and Djokovic v Shapovalov – live!
July 9, 2021sports
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Berrettini* 1-2 Hurkacz (*denotes next server)
Berrettini has his opponent on the ropes at 0-40, but Hurkacz roars back to deuce, rounding off the third point of his recovery with two confident smashes. A couple more solid serves, and the Polish player has avoided falling a break down. That was a hugely impressive fightback from the 24-year-old, and he edges back ahead with Berrettini to serve again now.
Berrettini 1-1 *Hurkacz (*denotes next server)
Berrettini does indeed hold comfortably, to love, including one slice of luck with a big forehand that crashes into the net – but down on to Hurkacz’s side of the court.
Berrettini* 0-1 Hurkacz (*denotes next server)
Hurkacz thunders a couple of big early serves down the middle and holds very easily, in about 90 seconds flat, to get the biggest match of his life up and running. He looks impressively relaxed, as he did against Federer two days ago. Berrettini will hope to hold his own service game in similarly efficient style.
This is your two-minute call.
John McEnroe says he gives Berrettini the edge in this match. “He’s been building up to this for a couple of years,” says the American pundit.
And of Hurkacz: “What impressed me, particularly in that second-set tie-breaker, is that Hurkacz stood up mentally … Federer kind of went away. ‘Hubi’, as he likes to be called, sensed that and he thrashed him.”
The players are out on court, they’ve tossed up, and we are moments away from the first men’s semi-final of the day.
Speaking to the BBC, Berrettini says the first time he played Hurkacz was as a 17-year-old, in a match in Poland. Berrettini is 25 now, the Polish player is 24.
Berrettini has defeated Guido Pella, Botic Van De Zandschulp, Aljaz Bedene, Ilya Ivashka and Felix Auger-Aliassime to get to this stage.
Hurkacz beat Medvedev before he beat Federer, in five sets, so he’s definitely had the tougher path to this stage.
Both men are in their first Wimbledon semi-final.
What else do we know about Hubert Hurkacz, the second Polish man to reach the semi-final of a grand slam tournament?
Well, he adheres to a strict vegan diet, for one thing. He has also told the ATP Tour website that strawberries are his favourite fruit, so he’s in the right place in SW19.
His dream dinner party guests?
“It would be nice to have dinner with Roger [Federer], Robert Lewandowski, a Polish footballer, and I’m struggling for a third person…!”
You may remember Hubert Hurkacz from such viral videos as the press conference with no journalists and no questions, back in April:
After his demolition of Federer, I very much doubt a press conference sans questions is a luxury that the Polish player will enjoy again.
Hubert Hurkacz’s quarter-final victory on Wednesday felt more like a state funeral than a sporting event: Centre Court was plunged into a state of collective shock as Roger Federer, the king of SW19, was dispatched in three sets by the 24-year-old Pole, even suffering the indignity of a 6-0 reverse in the final set. We live in hope that Federer will return next year.
The world No 18 produced a largely flawless display to reach this semi-final: serving at 130mph, often matching Federer in longer rallies while throwing in the odd exquisitely-judged drop-shot for good measure. If he can produce a similar level this afternoon then the seventh-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini, who dropped a single set in his quarter-final victory against Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime, will be in for a tough day at the office.
Following Hurkacz’s showdown with Berrettini, the No 1 seed, five-times champion and heavy tournament favourite Novak Djokovic will stride on to court. He was not genuinely tested by Márton Fucsovics in his straight-sets quarter-final win but it is safe to think that Denis Shapovalov, the 10th seed and world No 12, will provide a much sterner test. Shapovalov recovered from a set down to emerge from a five-set thriller against the Russian Karen Khachanov two days ago and he will be feeling suitably battle-hardened.
Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova are already busy preparing for their women’s singles final tomorrow, and in a few hours’ time, there will be only two players left standing in the men’s draw. Let’s get it on.