Matteo Berrettini Returns To Conquer Queen’s | ATP Tours

Matteo Berrettini managed to defend his champion crown at the Cinch Championships this Sunday, winning the tournament for the second consecutive year. The Italian defeated Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-4 and reigned at The Queen’s Club.

Berrettini became the eighth player to retain the individual crown on the grass at Queen’s. The Italian followed in the footsteps of John McEnroe (1979-81), Jimmy Connors (1982-83), Boris Becker (1987-88), Ivan Lendl (1989-90), Lleyton Hewitt (2000-02) and Andy Roddick (2003). -05) and Andy Murray (2015-16).

Since returning to the tour last week after three months out with a hand problem, the 26-year-old has won titles at Stuttgart and Queen’s, claiming seven ATP Tour trophies, four of them on grass.

Berrettini was decisive in the important sections of both sets to break the resistance of Krajinovic, who could do nothing to stop the great level exhibited by the Italian since the grass tour began.

In front of a packed grandstand, the Italian put on an aggressive performance. He fired 14 aces and showed great footwork to dictate the pace with his forehand and become the first player in the Open Era to win two titles in his first two appearances in London.

“There are a lot of emotions,” said Berrettini during the trophy ceremony. “The last thing he expected was to come back from surgery and win two titles in a row. Defending my title here in one of the most prestigious tournaments we have… I don’t want to cry. Most of the work is thanks to them, my team and my family. I just can’t believe it.”

The second seed has now won his last nine matches and lifted two titles since returning to the tour last week.

The 26-year-old put in a strong performance to defeat Andy Murray in the BOSS OPEN final in Stuttgart last week and was equally impressive against Serbian Krajinovic to triumph at the ATP 500 event in one hour and 34 minutes.

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Berrettini now leads the 30-year-old 3-0 in their ATP Head2Head series, while he has improved his record on grass to 32-6, having won 20 of his last 21 matches on the surface.

“I arrived in Stuttgart and I wasn’t feeling very well,” said Berrettini. “I wasn’t hitting the ball the way I wanted and I said ‘Guys, I think it’s going to be tough’. But it went pretty well!”

In a lively clash, the two rivals exchanged breaks midway through the first set. Berrettini struck first when he hit a perfectly executed volley to advance, but Krajinovic responded immediately and leveled again to make it 3-3. However, the Italian increased the intensity and power of his groundstrokes late in the set to clinch the opening set in the 54th minute.

“I arrived in Stuttgart and was not feeling great,” Berrettini said. “I was not hitting the ball how I wanted and I was like ‘Guys, I think it is going to be tough’. But it has gone pretty well!”

Buoyed by confidence, the second seed continued to attack in the second set. He won 86% (12/14) of his first serve points as he pressured Krajinovic for the decisive break in game five, before calming his nerves on his serve to secure the title.

Krajinovic had never won an ATP Tour match on grass before this week, but put in a series of successful displays to defeat Jenson Brooksby, Sam Querrey, Ryan Peniston and Marin Cilic to reach his fifth final on tour.

“It was an amazing last 10 days. Very emotional,” said Krajinovic during the trophy ceremony. “For me the first final on grass. You [la gente] you helped me a lot. I felt like I was playing at home. Also congratulations to Berrettini, I have already lost two finals against him”.

The Serb, who was making his debut at The Queen’s Club, is ranked 31st in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings after his hot run.

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Matteo Berrettini Returns To Conquer Queen’s | ATP Tours

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