Berrettini does not betray, he is in the semi-final at Queen's: "Now let's defend the title ..."

He starts badly, goes down 4-1 with the American Paul, then gets into gear and demolishes his rival: 6-4 6-2 and now challenges the Dutch Van de Zandschulp

Matteo Berrettini never stops. Since returning to Stuttgart, after an operation on his right hand, the Roman Top 10 has not yet lost a match and with his victory number seven in the last ten days advances to the semi-finals at the Queen’s tournament, where he defends the title. After a brilliant debut with Evans and the complicated eighth with Kudla, today it was the American Tommy Paul who paid the price, eliminated in two sets with a score of 6-4 6-2, at the end of an hour and 13 minutes. game. For Berrettini, on the hunt for his fourth career title on the “live” surface, tomorrow there will be the Dutch Botic Van De Zandschulp who in the first match of the day at the Centrale beat Davidovich Fokina (6-2 6-4). Between Berrettini and Van De Zandschulp there is only one precedent, last year in the second round of Wimbledon, where the Italian finalist 6-3 6-4 7-6 (4) made the difference.

Run-up

A slow start costs Matteo a break in the second game, where he is betrayed by the serve, the same one that was so faithful to him in the week of his return. It is in fact with a double fault that the Roman concedes two break points to the opponent, who at the third backhand gift finds himself leading 2-0. Forced to chase, Matteo tries to keep in touch with the American and with the passing of the game finds the right rhythm on the serve. At 4-2 a tempting opportunity presents itself for the blue who takes advantage of a double fault by Paul to recover the break granted at the start. Suddenly the American’s right stops working and after the fourth consecutive game is sold, Berrettini goes to serve for the set. It is finally “hammer time”. It turns on 6-4.

Blackout

In the second half it is still the middle of the night for Tommy Paul, who with yet another not forced undergoes the third break in the last 4 rounds spent in the service. Forward 3-1 to Matteo, all that remains is to rely on the newfound joke to file the practice without problems but the American is still generous with his tennis (now in pieces) and delivers a second and decisive break in the hands of the blue. At 5-2 the icing on the cake is the final ace, which determines a partial 11 games to 2 for Berrettini from 2-4 in the initial set. It will be the second consecutive semifinal for Italian tennis at the Queen’s Club.

Aim to improve

“I didn’t start as I wanted”, admitted the tennis player from Rome at the end of the match. “But I knew I could recover the break. Today it is hot and there is a lot of wind but I was there to fight. My game grew with the passing of the game and I was able to find the right dimension ”. On the brilliance immediately expressed on my return: “I have to thank my team for having recovered form so quickly. Furthermore, the love of my family has helped me a lot in difficult moments ”. Between 2021 and 2022 Berrettini lost only one match on the grass (the Wimbledon final) and with the performance shown in the last two weeks, it doesn’t cost so much to dream: “I worked hard to get back on this surface. It would be nice to be back in the final at Wimbledon again but now I have to think about this tournament, I have to defend the title. Next week I think I’ll rest then I hope to do even better than last year at the Championships “.

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