Matteo Berrettini completed his 20th match win of the year (20-5 record) on Thursday for a place in the Roland Garros third round for the third time.
The ninth-seeded Italian raced past Argentina’s Federico Coria 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in just under two hours. Berrettini hit 46 winners, securing 82 per cent of his first-service points (42/51) and winning 81 per cent of his net points (25/31).
“I knew that I could beat him,” said Berrettini. I stepped [onto court] knowing that I could hurt him tennis-wise. I was serving well, playing aggressive. Everything was working pretty fine.
Berrettini, one of seven Italian men in the second round in Paris, is now 13-3 on clay this year, since returning from a hernia/groin injury. He captured his fourth ATP Tour title at the Serbia Open (d. Karatsev) in April and also reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final in May, finishing runner-up at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Zverev).
The 25-year-old will next challenge compatriot Andreas Seppi, winner over Canadian 20th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round, or Soonwoo Kwon of South Korea.
After struggling with injury last year, Berrettini now feels he is in a better place on and off the court, with Thursday’s victory a further boost.
“I wasn’t in the best place on my career [last year],” said Berrettini. “I had a lot of injuries. It wasn’t an easy year for anyone. So, when I struggle, I struggle. When I’m happy, I’m happy. But before it was a little bit too dark. I have to work, and I’m proud of what I have done. Now I’m really looking forward to playing [the] next tournaments, next matches, because at the end now I feel I’m back again.”
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Elsewhere, 10th-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman comfortably overcame Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and 21 minutes. The 28-year-old, who reached the Roland Garros semi-finals last year (l. to Nadal), improves to a 13-10 record on the season.
Schwartzman’s reward is a third-round meeting with German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who knocked out Russian 24th seed Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-1 in three hours and two minutes. Before his first-round victory over Fernando Verdasco, Kohlschreiber had not won a match at ATP Tour level since February 2020 (d. Safwat) at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The 37-year-old hit 29 winners and won 76 per cent of first-service points against Australian Open semi-finalist Karatsev, who is now 22-9 for the season that includes the Dubai title (d. Harris).