Berrettini returns and is immediately final: "Yes, this is my level".  In the final against Murray

Defeated Otte with two tie breaks. On the German grass the Roman tames the home player after a great service battle

The Hammer comes back. Matteo Berrettini immediately wins a final on his return after almost three months of hiatus: beat Oscar Otte in Stuttgart, 7-6 7-6. Grass is still the surface that gives joy to Italy’s number 1, who returns to the final just under a year after the match at Wimbledon against Novak Djokovic, which came after his success at Queen’s. Matteo will be the first Italian to play a final in 2022. Excuse the wait, now the fun can begin: if the ranking is destined to worsen in the coming weeks, there are many objectives to be achieved. The look in the long run is on the ATP Finals in Turin, tomorrow – in the ninth career final – you have to try to bring home the first title of the year, the sixth at ATP level and the third on grass: the first on this surface had arrived in Stuttgart, in 2019 against Auger-Aliassime. Between Matteo and the title there will be Andy Murray, victorious over Kyrgios: fascinating final.

With patience

Berrettini wins a difficult match against a home player dominated by services. The opportunities for the player in response are very few: Otte tries to be aggressive and to play an effective tennis on the grass (many attacks in the back, especially at the start), Matteo is not always able to explore the weak points of the opponent with the cuts both with the obverse and with the reverse. The Italian is good at always being reliable in serving (83% of points with the first, 76% with the second) and to take advantage of Otte’s hesitation in the two tie-breaks, especially in the first: two decisive double faults.

The match

In the first games there is no match: both Berrettini and Otte are great, there are few exchanges. The first chances arrive when the first set comes alive: Matteo has a break point in the ninth game, the German cancels with a serve and volley and then closes with two aces; in the previous game the Italian got away well from 0-30, in the tenth he finds three second winners. At 5-5, Berrettini goes to 0-30 with an excellent attack in the back, he goes to the advantages and, as before, Otte closes with two aces. Reliable in important moments, therefore, the German, but not in the tie-break: serious errors on two second seconds by Matteo and two heavy double faults, the last of which delivers the set to the Italian. The second partial is in line with the first: reliable services, few exchanges, no opportunity in response. From the fourth to the sixth game, you always go 30-30 but without break points thanks to the service (effective for both the second to the body). It is still a tie-break: Berrettini is brave in the serve and aggressive in the sixth point on the second of Otte, who on the contrary does not take advantage when the first of Matteo does not enter. The Italian closes the match at the third match-point, the first available with the serve.

THE WORDS

Berrettini comments on the victory: “I expected it would be a match dominated by serve, this is the third time I play against Otte. When the opponent serves well, you have to serve even better. I asked a lot from the serve. The final? Not I’ll watch the other semifinal: my coach will do it. I need rest, I’ll be ready for tomorrow. ” And then again: “I’m very happy, going on in the tournament was my goal but between thinking it and being able to do it there is a difference. I’m happy to be able to play a final after many months away from the fields, after the first big operation of the my career: it means that this is my level, I show myself once again that I am comfortable playing on this surface and on these levels. “

Now Murray

Berrettini’s opponent in the final will be Andy Murray, in the second final of the season after the defeat against Karatsev in Sydney. The Scotsman got the better of a Nick Kyrgios who came out of the match after the tie-break lost in the first set, with a deceptive rebound on the set-point: the Australian breaks the racket, takes the penalty point and a few minutes later also the penalty game. Kyrgios even stops playing and sits on the 2-0, after a few words exchanged with the supervisor ends the match but only for the obligation to sign: 7-6 6-2. “The final number 70 in his career? This year has been a long ride – the words at the end of the match -. I was more used in the tiebreaker, I was able to respond, here it is very fast. Kyrgios? He was frustrated in the second set but in the first set he played very well, he remains among the best on the circuit. Now I have the opportunity to play with a great tennis player like Berrettini ”. It will be the third challenge between Murray and Berrettini: Matteo won the last time – last year in the round of 16 at Queen’s – and lost in 2019 in Beijing. The Briton hasn’t won a title since that year, in Antwerp.

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