After losing the first set, Matteo goes up and closes the final score 3-6 6-3 6-4. On the way to the final there is Otte
Matteo Berrettini’s first derby at ATP level with Lorenzo Sonego. A significant comeback victory for the number 10 in the world: because it is the second consecutive success to return from the long stop and because it gives him a semifinal against Oscar Otte, who did not even take the field against Benjamin Bonzi (retired due to injury). Matteo sees the possibility of reaching the final in Stuttgart: the best condition is yet to be found, but being able to overturn Sonego – 3-6 6-3 6-4 in over two and a quarter hours – was not obvious. Lorenzo’s journey is interrupted after the victories against Paire and Struff.
The first two sets
What makes the difference in the first set is Sonego’s rhythm: Lorenzo plays aggressive tennis, effective on grass and with a few free games; Berrettini has problems in response and sometimes arrives late on the ball. Matteo’s backhand, especially along the line, doesn’t work much. Result: if Sonego’s first rounds go away quickly, Berrettini’s are fought. The partial splits in the sixth game, with the break in favor of the number 31 in the world after a mistake by Berrettini with the forehand out of the service. The pupil of Santopadre has immediately two balls of the counterbreak but in both points he replies on the net, even in the last game he does not take advantage of two chances: 6-3 for Sonego. Lorenzo opens the second set with a point to applause: diving volley. But as the match progresses, the pace drops and Berrettini can assert his greater ball weight: a break – in the fourth game, the Turinese’s empty pass – is enough to decide the partial, with Sonego who – like Matteo in the first – has two balls of the counterbreak in the last game but does not exploit them.
The third set turns immediately. Berrettini’s break in the third game: Sonego, who is below 0-40 with errors in length, recovers two points thanks to the first game but then gives in on a cross-country exchange in which Matteo puts all his weight. “The back is coming back”, the phrase comes out of Berrettini’s mouth in the fourth game. The serve, on the other hand, has been back for some time: Berrettini is in “hammer” mode, even if some too many errors in the shots following the serve keep Sonego’s hopes alive. In the tenth game, Berrettini’s sensational point: on 0-15 serving, Lorenzo invents a great response and Matteo passes it with a great backhand on the line. For beauty and importance, it is the point of the match: Berrettini closes 6-4 at the second match-point.
Hug between Berrettini and Sonego after the match closes. “A very tough match, Sonego had confidence and it was not easy to come back after three months of absence: I am very happy with this victory – Matteo said -. Lorenzo and I? We started playing against years ago in the Challengers and now we face each other in the most important tournaments in the world. He is one of my greatest friends on the circuit, we train together. Oscar Otte? I’m sorry because he’s German… (laughs) “.
June 10 – 3:10 pm
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