Matteo Berrettini in the Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic. Roberto Mancini’s Italy at Wembley against England in the Euro 2020 final. In London, Italian sport is experiencing a special Sunday, hoping to sculpt the July 11, 2021 date into the history of tennis and Italian football. At Wimbledon, on the All England Club Center Court, Berrettini wants to crown a dream tournament. The 25-year-old from Rome, the first Italian tennis player to reach the final of the London Slam, will challenge the world’s number 1 at 3 p.m. Djokovic is chasing the third title in a row and sixth overall on the London grass. The Serbian champion plays the 30th final in a Grand Slam tournament, has won 19 major titles: all numbers that cement his status as a favourite.
However, Berrettini arrives after a dream month at the epilogue of the tournament. He triumphed at Queen’s, Wimbledon starter, showing his best tennis between quarter-finals and semi-finals. He lost the two direct matches with Djokovic, the last on clay at Roland Garros, but never crossed ‘Nole’ on the grass. “Busy day”, he writes on Instagram in preparation for the “special Sunday”. “I am excited and proud to represent Italy in the most historic tennis arena in the world,” he says, as he also prepares to pass the baton to the national football team. “I want to wish the coach @ mrmancini10 the best of luck and all the @azzurri guys who will be taking the field,” he adds.
At 21, about twenty km from Wimbledon, the final act of Euro 2020 will take place at Wembley, Italy will face the hosts for the continental title. The dream of the new blue ‘magic nights’, 15 years after the victory at the 2006 World Cup, against the slogan ‘it comes home’ of the Three Lions, who seek a triumph that has been absent for more than half a century is, of the 1966 World Cup was played at home. “We have overcome a path full of difficulties and with great difficulty. We hope to have another 90 minutes of fun and then go on holiday: we need one last effort,” said coach Mancini.
“We have to stay calm, knowing that it will be a difficult game for so many reasons, we have to be focused on our game,” he says. At the stadium, Italian fans will be in a clear minority. “We hope to hear them eventually. We have other things to think about during the game,” he says. “We will need a warm heart and a cold head,” said captain Giorgio Chiellini. “These kinds of matches should never happen again in a footballer’s career, it’s a joy to play them. We are all aware of the importance of the match. Carefree and a touch of madness has allowed us to get here and will have to get used to let us win this cup,” he adds.
On the other side of the fence, an entire country pushes the roster. The images of the England coach escorted by thousands of people are impressive. “We are here to win. For the cup. We have arrived in the final in the best possible way and represent England. And now, after what the boys have done, the goal is only one: the cup,” said coach Gareth southgate. Also cheering, Queen Elizabeth, who sent a message to the technical commissioner: “I hope history will remember not only your success, but also your spirit, dedication and pride”.