Berrettini on his return wins on the grass in Stuttgart: beat Murray in three sets

The Roman had been missing from the fields for two and a half months due to an injury to his hand, but he was able to move at his best in this tournament: “Incredible, it’s the last thing I would have imagined”. In the final he won 6-4 5-7 6-3 also thanks to an injury for the Scot in the third set

Welcome back, Matteo. Berrettini is the first Italian to win an ATP tournament in 2022: the pupil of Vincenzo Santopadre finds the sixth title in his career – the third on grass, the second in Stuttgart after that of 2019 – and returns to success almost a year later. distance from victory at Queen’s. Always on the grass, always passing by Andy Murray: then in the second round, now in the final. Matteo wins in three sets – 6-4 5-7 6-3 – and takes home a trophy in the first tournament played after the two and a half month break for the right hand operation: the 26 year old will now try to defend the title won at Queen’s – first round against Evans, then the possible match against Sonego or Murray himself – to get to Wimbledon at best. For Andy it is the second final lost this season after the one in January in Sydney: the last title remains that of 2019 in Antwerp. To condition the Scot is the injury in the third set to the abdominal area.

THE CHANGES

Berrettini’s victory against Murray comes after those against Albot, Sonego and Otte. Positive responses in the tournament for the Italian, who after a match against a great hitter like Otte found himself facing a decidedly different opponent to face. In addition to relying on the serve, with the exception of the break immediately to zero at the end of the second set (81% of points with the first and 19 ace), Matteo showed his entire repertoire, deadly on the grass: backhand slice – more effective than in previous games -, sudden accelerations and variations, with the use of the short ball – some mistakes too many in the second set – and the tendency to make the opponent move a lot. The Briton was good at being more aggressive after losing the first set, an extreme tendency in the third game also to avoid long rallies due to the injury.

THE FIRST TWO SETS

To decide the first set are the third and fourth games: first Berrettini breaks Murray’s serve – double foul, Matteo’s great goal-setting point for 15-40 and excellent aggression on the second -, then he saves four break points as a champion, holding on to the serve (two aces and two excellent serves to stay in the game, which ended with eight consecutive firsts). In the following game, in response, Berrettini goes to 0-40: Murray is saved with two aces and the first. To make the difference is therefore only one break: 6-4. In the second set Andy tries to change something: more aggression, more descents to the net. In the first eight games there are no break points, in the ninth here are the chances for Berrettini: Murray is saved three times, splendid the exchange that closes the game. Matteo’s empty pass one step away from the tie-break – service lost to zero – gives the British the set: 7-5.

THE THIRD

After returning to the locker room, Berrettini got off to a great start: zero break in the first game, with a great volley in the first point and a couple of mistakes by Murray. At the change of court, the British called the physiotherapist: treatment in the area between the abdominal and left groin. The Scotsman further shortens the exchanges, in general there is little play: Matteo scores nine aces. At 2-4 30-15, Murray stops again: Andy ends the match, but there is no chance of reopening it and the service is limited. Berrettini closes 6-3 with a second break.

THE WORDS

“Incredible, it is the last thing I would have imagined: to return from an injury, from the first operation of my life, and immediately win – comments Berrettini after the victory -. I didn’t play my best in the early rounds, my tennis improved from game to game. It was tough, Murray had the opportunity to force the match to the third set: congratulations to him, it was clear he was injured and I’m sorry it ended like this. For me it was an honor to play against him for everything he has done in his career ”.

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