An Italian tennis player wins for the first time on London grass. And now Wimbledon …
Queen’s noble English herb has an Italian as a new master. Matteo Berrettini is the first blue tennis player to triumph in London and wins the first 500 title in his career, after four 250s: victory in three sets against Cameron Norrie, forced to postpone the appointment with the first victory in the major circuit. The Roman tennis player, seeded number one on the scoreboard, respected the favors of the prediction but was taken to the third and decisive set, after winning the first 6-4 and losing the second 7-6 (5). Second title on the grass for the number 9 in the world after that of 2019 in Stuttgart: that of Queen’s is the most important success in the career of the Italian. And now Wimbledon.
It is an authoritative first set that Berrettini wins in just over half an hour. The Italian is solid and precise in the service: only two points out of twenty lost with the first, who enters the field three times out of four. Norrie can do little and surrenders to the opponent in the fifth game: an oversized backhand out of the service and two double fouls. It is the break that decides the set. On the other side of the net, Berrettini thanks and does not forgive: when he can the Roman tennis player commands with the forehand, hammers in the service and closes at 6-4, administering without overdoing it and making the opponent feel the full weight of his tennis.
The second set begins with six batting rounds held at zero. Only first in the field for Berrettini and five aces in three games in service: a threatening message sent to the opponent, who, however, is not intimidated and responds blow for blow. With a less heavy but more worked serve, cleverly exploiting the grass-left-handed pair, and managing well the exchanges from the bottom. Before Norrie, Berrettini had played (and won) only once against a left-handed tennis player on this surface, in 2019 in the Davis Cup against the Indian Gunneswaran. In the seventh and eighth games both players unlock in response: they are the first signs of a possible turning point in the set. So much so that Berrettini has two break points in the ninth game, a double chance to then go to serve for the match: Norrie is saved with four consecutive points. The number 41 in the world feels the ball better, is looser and physically well: the Roman tennis player is forced to look for alternative solutions, such as the damped. And he must save himself from 15-30 on 6-5: the Italian hammers with the first and takes the set to the tie-break, but gives up the service in the second point and does not hurt in response. We go to the third set.
In tennis, moods change easily, even more so in a final. The shy Norrie from the first set is now confident and confident. Berrettini is called to forget the two break points of the ninth game and not to think about the mockery of a lost set, leaving only six points on the road. The tension increases, in the first games there is little exchange: the Italian plays shallow in response, is foul and very inaccurate with the forehand, while on the serve is constant. The opportunities arrive in the sixth game: as in the second set, Berrettini goes to 15-40 but does not capitalize. After a few too many mistakes, Norrie clings to the serve and is saved: 3-3. The Roman seems to complicate his life by himself, but when thoughts begin to crowd his mind, the game goes on his side out of nowhere: Norrie is 40-0 in the eighth game but misses two forehand and commits a double foul. Berrettini takes a break ball with the straight passer and the Englishman does not find the field with the backhand: break, 5-3 and the possibility of serving for the set. Berrettini thanks and closes 6-3: Matteo is the first Italian to win at Queen’s.
June 20, 2021 (change June 20, 2021 | 16:54)
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