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Novak Djokovic wins record-equaling 20th Grand Slam, beat Matteo Berrettini in Wimbledon final

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Novak Djokovic equaled the men’s record for most grand slam single’s titles after beating Matteo Berrettini in the Wimbledon final on Sunday.

The world No.1 joins Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 career grand slams, cementing himself as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.

After a nervy start, Djokovic recovered to win 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-3 against his Italian opponent and clinch his sixth Wimbledon title.

Having already won the Australian Open and French Open this year, he needs the Olympic gold medal and US Open title to become the first man to ever win a Golden Slam.

“That was more than a battle. I’d first like to extend my congratulations to Matteo, his family and his team for a fantastic tournament. It was a tough match today,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “From a 7-year-old boy in Serbia constructing a Wimbledon tennis trophy from improvised materials I found in my room to standing here today with my sixth Wimbledon. It’s incredible.”

Berrettini, playing in his first grand slam final, could have been forgiven for being nervous, but it was the veteran Djokovic who looked more shaky at the start.

The 34-year-old started the match with a double fault before surviving a break-point in his first service game.

Berrettini, bidding to become the first Italian winner of a Wimbledon singles title, looked to rely on his powerful serve and booming forehand to settle himself into the match but was broken by Djokovic in his second service game.

The Italian then began struggling for form, missing a couple of easy shots, but discovered his rhythm just in time, breaking back against Djokovic as he was serving for the set.

The mini-victory seemed to give Berrettini a boost and momentum swung in his favor as the crowd got behind the underdog.

The opening set went into a nail-biting tie-break which Berrettini sealed with an emphatic ace.

It was clear Djokovic needed to up his game, and that’s exactly what he did in the second set, breaking the Italian’s serve twice in his first two attempts.

Berrettini didn’t go away, though, once again breaking back when Djokovic was serving for the set, but the Serbian dug deep to level the match.

The third set was more like the final many had expected, with both men producing wonderful tennis much to the delight of the packed stands on Centre Court.

But after an early break, Djokovic once again held on to take a 2-1 lead in the final.

Berrettini continued to put pressure on Djokovic in the final set of the match but the great champion’s experience began to pay off. He dramatically reduced his unforced errors and, as has always been the case, he found a way to win the big points.

“For sure, Novak was better than me. He is a great champion. He’s writing the history of the sport so he deserves all the credit,” Berrettini said during his on-court interview. “I’m really happy with the final. Hopefully it won’t be my last one here or last one in general. It’s an unbelievable feeling.”

In his current form, it seems just a matter of time before Djokovic overtakes Federer and Nadal’s grand slam haul, but the Serbian paid tribute to the two legends of the men’s game.

“They are legends of our sport and they are the two most important players that I’ve ever faced in my career,” he said. “They are the reason I am where I am today. They helped me realize what I need to do to improve and get stronger.”

Djokovic will now head to Tokyo to compete at the Olympics before heading to the US Open.

-CNN

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Tokyo Olympics: Australia beat Nigeria 84-67 in Basketball opener

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Australia’s Boomers beat Nigeria’s Tigers 84-67 in a commanding performance on Sunday night in Tokyo with star player Patty Mills scoring 25 points as both nations opened their quest for a first Olympic medal in men’s basketball.

Australia matched its best finish by finishing fourth at the Rio Games in 2016 but is capable of going further this time with a veteran roster full of NBA players.

The Australians, ranked third in the world, pulled away in the fourth quarter of a game that had been evenly matched between teams with the most NBA players outside of the U.S.

Nigeria’s D’Tigers featured eight current NBA players and the Australians seven.

Both teams won exhibition games in Las Vegas against the Americans, who have 12 NBA players on their roster.

Australia opened an 11-point lead midway through the third quarter after holding the Nigerians without a basket for more than five minutes to open the second half.

But the Australians lost momentum soon after when the game was delayed because the horn was malfunctioning, and Nigeria cut the deficit to five early in the fourth.

But Matisse Thybulle of the Philadelphia 76ers made a 3-pointer and then Mills, the San Antonio Spurs guard who was a flag bearer for the Australians in the opening ceremony, helped break it open.

Obi Emegano scored 12 points for Nigeria, led by Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown.

Australia plays Italy on Tuesday in matchup of teams that won in Group B on the opening day. Nigeria faces Germany.

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PHOTOS: Nigeria dazzles in Tokyo Olympic opening parade

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Arsenal agree £50m deal for Brighton’s defender

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Arsenal has agreed on a deal in principle for the £50m transfer of Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White.

White was a late call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England Euro 2020 squad.

It completes a meteoric rise for the 23-year-old, who was released by Southampton as a youngster before being signed by Brighton.

He went on a number of loans from the Seagulls, including to Leeds’ Championship title-winning side in 2019-20.

White’s performances for Leeds attracted the attention of many leading clubs and prompted Brighton to secure him on a new four-year contract last summer.

That deal put the Seagulls in a strong negotiating position this summer and it is understood they rejected two bids from the Gunners before agreement was finally reached amid interest from other Premier League clubs.

White is on holiday so the transfer, including his medical, will not be completed until he returns.

The transfer comes as Arsenal part ways with Brazil defender David Luiz after his contract expired.

The Gunners have also signed 21-year-old left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica for £8m this summer.

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