We now know the finalists in both the men’s and ladies draws at Wimbledon, with Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova first up on Saturday.
After a year off, SW19 has bounced back to produce a stunning tournament and fittingly, it could also see some history on Sunday as Novak Djokovic goes up against Matteo Berrettini aiming to become the third male to win 20 Grand Slam titles.
The ladies are the focus 24 hours earlier, though, in a final between two players who are unlikely to hold back.
Brilliant Barty to Take SW19 Crown
Carrying the world number one ranking and top seeding into a tournament where you’ve never previously advanced past the fourth round brings plenty of pressure by Barty has taken it all in her stride over the last fortnight.
Stopping resurgent 2018 winner Angelique Kerber in straight sets in the semi-finals was hugely impressive, as is the fact the 25-year-old’s sole dropped set at SW19 came in a tie-break in the opening round.
Still Doubts Over Pliskova
Saturday’s opponent Pliskova came from a set down to defeat Aryna Sabalenka in the semis and is reaping the benefits of working under coach Sascha Bajin. The 29-year-old has had to remain patient but the German’s changes have now come to fruition, especially the alterations to her serve.
In fact, no women’s match at Wimbledon has featured more aces than the 32 Pliskova and Sabalenka dished out between them on Thursday.
However, it is not unfair to say that when the pressure is really on, the Czech doesn’t look to have total confidence in her new technique, while Pliskova has also fallen short in the past, losing to Kerber in the final of the 2016 US Open.
Men’s Showdown Could be Cagey
Sunday’s men’s final looks well-poised between two players who are at opposite ends of their careers. Well, that might be a bit harsh, with Djokovic looking as fresh as ever at 34 and Berrettini hardly a newbie.
The said, the Italian, who will be the first player from his country to feature in a Wimbledon final, is playing the tennis of his life.
After losing to Djokovic in the quarter-finals at the French Open in four sets, the 25-year-old bounced back to claim victory at Queen’s.
More History for Novak?
A victory will see Djokovic tie Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s benchmark for males of 20 Grand Slam victories and while his rival is a rookie at this level, the top seed be playing in his 30th major final.
The Serb is also battle-hardened after coming through a pulsating semi-final against Denis Shapovalov 7-6 7-5 7-5, a match in which his greater experience told.
Berrettini is older and wiser than Shapovalov and also has a blistering serve, firing down 22 aces as he defeated Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 6-3 6-0 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 in the last four.
That power could be enough to grab a set and having won 3-1 in Paris, Djokovic is
23/10 for a repeat victory by that scoreline and maintain his hopes of a calendar Grand Slam, having already won the Australian and French Opens.
*All odds correct at time of writing