Monday, March 27, 2023

Looking good for Wimbledon, Berrettini retains title of Queen

LONDON ( Associated Press) – Matteo Berrettini looks to be in prime shape for another deep race at Wimbledon.

The second-seeded Italian retained the grass-court Queen’s Club title after beating Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-4 in the final on Sunday. It supported his title win in Stuttgart last week, which was also on the grass.

Wimbledon starts on 27 June and Berrettini are heading to the All England Club, having won 20 of their last 21 matches on the grass – their only loss in four sets against Novak Djokovic in last year’s Wimbledon final. Was.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the grass season,” said Berrettini. “I’m feeling really good – obviously a slam is different, best set out of five. And there’s going to be a lot of pressure on me. But I think that’s normal.”

Krajinovic was a surprise finalist in west London, having never won a match on grass at ATP level before this week, and the 30-year-old Serb usually tries to skip grass-court events if he can.

“I hated it,” said Krajinovi of the grass. “But I think now I want to play on it more and more.”

His serve was not big enough to threaten the long and impressive Berrettini, who dropped only two break points and sent down 14 aces – more than twice that of Krajinovic. The last of them came at match point, after which he flew a ball high into the sky and jumped ad hoardings to celebrate Father’s Day with his team and then his father.

Berrettini joins Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, Andy Murray, Marin Cilic and Feliciano Lopez as the multiple title winners at Queens since the turn of the century. He has won every match since returning to action in Stuttgart after three months with a hand injury.

“A few weeks ago I couldn’t hold the racket,” Berrettini said. “Now I’m here lifting the second trophy in a row.”

The Italian said he felt like crying when he thought about the journey since surgery on his right arm, which had required treatment several times this week.

“I arrived in Stuttgart and I was not feeling well, not hitting the ball the way I wanted to, the way I used to,” Berrettini said. “I was like, ‘Guys, I think this is going to be tough.’

“But it went so well. I think I’m Italian, I always complain. But I just can’t complain.”

Krajinovi lost his fifth straight ATP Finals, with two now coming against Berrettini.


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