Top seed Matteo Berrettini continued his impressive week at the cinch Championships as he defeated Alex de Minaur 6-4, 6-4, to reach the final at the Queen’s Club on Saturday in his debut at the tournament.
The No. 1 Italian has won an ATP Tour title on grass at the MercedesCup (d. Auger-Aliassime) in 2019 and is now 25-6 on the season. Berrettini has yet to drop a set in London, navigating his way past British pair Andy Murray and Daniel Evans earlier this week.
“That was the goal of the week [making the final], and now I have one more step. It is a great achievement, especially for the history of this tournament. I am really happy because to beat Alex today, I had to play my best tennis,” Berrettini said.
“The mentality is that I always think I can win my service games. I know that I have a big weapon with my serve and first shot. If I sleep too well it means something is off ahead of the final. I have to be nervous and tight a little bit, otherwise the adrenaline does not kick in and it is tougher to play,” Berrettini added.[WATCH LIVE 1]
World No. 9 Berrettini won 89 per cent (32/36) of his first-service points and hit eight aces against de Minaur to advance in 84 minutes. He will next face Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie in Sunday’s final.
Berrettini started strongly on centre court, breaking the fourth-seeded Australian’s serve with a backhand winner down the line to lead 2-1. The Italian dictated with his powerful forehand but while he managed to close out the set, de Minaur grew into the match as he started to move Berrettini around the court with his variety of shots.
At the start of the second set, Berrettini continued to pressurise de Minaur with his great depth, conjuring up three break points in the fifth game. However, de Minaur held firm from 0/40 to move 3-2 ahead. Berrettini then successfully fended off a break point himself to level up. The 25-year-old has impressively made 10/12 first serves this week on break points.
Berrettini then brilliantly found the feet of de Minaur at deuce in the ninth game, and broke when the Australian’s slice found the net to lead 5-4. He then served out victory to advance and become the first Italian to reach the final at the Queen’s Club since Laurence Tieleman 23-years-ago.
De Minaur, who is now 16-13 for the season, having won the Antalya Open title in January. The World No. 22 will play at the Viking International Eastbourne ATP 250 grass-court event next week.