Berrettini’s Breakthrough: Italian Clinches Maiden Title In Gstaad
Prior to this week, Matteo Berrettini had never reached a tour-level quarter-final. But now, after beating three seeded opponents in five matches at the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad, the Italian is an ATP World Tour champion.
Berrettini saved two set points in a tense first set before clinching the only break of the match to beat Roberto Bautista Agut in one hour and 45 minutes. The 22-year-old Gstaad debutant won each of his 49 service games en route to the title, navigating his way past No. 4 seed Andrey Rublev, eighth seed Feliciano Lopez and second-seeded Bautista Agut along the way.
“I am really happy, I have to stay focussed because of the doubles [final] and not think about this, but I am really happy,” said Berrettini.
The World No. 84, who will partner Daniele Bracciali in the doubles final, fired 17 aces and did not face a break point to improve to 12-12 at tour-level this season. In February, Berrettini won his second ATP Challenger Tour title at the Trofeo Perrel – FAIP, where, as was the case this week, he also defeated Jurgen Zopp in the semi-finals.
World No. 17 Bautista Agut was bidding to win three-tour level crowns in a single season for the first time. The Spaniard drops to 8-7 in tour-level championship matches.
“I want to congratulate Matteo. He played a great week and he has a great future in front of him. He deserved to win today,” said Bautista Agut. “I always like to play in Gstaad, it’s a beautiful event and I hope to come back next year.”
With neither man able to manufacture a break-point opportunity in a first set dominated by serve, Bautista Agut appeared to make the crucial breakthrough at 5/5 in the tie-break. After a misfired forehand from Berrettini, the Spaniard appeared to be in control at 6/5 before a badly-timed double fault rebalanced the scores.
A second set point for Bautista Agut was also dismissed with an ace, before Berrettini took control. After failing to convert two set points of his own with forehand errors, the Italian kept faith in his abilities with back-to-back forehand winners from 9/9 deciding the set.
Berrettini applied significant pressure early in the second set, manufacturing four break points for a 2-0 lead. But Bautista Agut, with conviction on his forehand side, averted danger to hold serve and halt the momentum of the Rome native.
Berrettini continued to serve comfortably, holding to love for the third time in the second set to move one game away from victory at 5-4. And, it was there that the Italian made the crucial move. Once more, Berrettini trusted his forehand in important moments, successfully attacking Bautista Agut’s forehand side on consecutive points to clinch the title.
“It was a really tough match. From the beginning until the end it was really tough to break him. I served really good most of the days and it was an unbelievable tie-break,” said Berrettini. “If I lost the tie-break, I think the match would have been really tough. I was lucky I did a really good job in the tie-break and I was focussed in the second set.”
Berrettini gains 250 ATP Ranking points and collects €89,435 in prize money for lifting the trophy. Bautista Agut receives 150 points and receives €47,105.
Did You Know?
Matteo Berrettini reached the third round at Roland Garros this year. The Italian fell in four sets to eventual finalist Dominic Thiem.