‘A Dream Come True’ - Matteo Berrettini Reacts To Winning Queen’s Title - UBITENNIS
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‘A Dream Come True’ – Matteo Berrettini Reacts To Winning Queen’s Title

The 25-year-old produced an impressive service display to record what it a historic win.

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image via https://twitter.com/QueensTennis

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini says he has fulfilled a childhood dream by becoming the first Italian in history to have won the Cinch Open at The Queen’s Club in London.

 

The world No.9 required two hours to edge out home favourite Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3, in what was a closely contested encounter. Impressively Berrettini didn’t face a single break point throughout the final as he won 91% of his first service points and fired 19 aces past his opponent. Claiming his first ever ATP 500 trophy at the age of 25 and his fifth ATP title overall.

“He’s a great player. We had never played against each other,” Berrettini said in tribute to his opponent after their match. “This year he has shown how he can play on all the surfaces. He has made finals and is playing great tennis. I’m sure he’s going to win a title really soon.”

With the match split at one set all, there was little to distinguish between the two players until a tense Norrie service game during the eighth game of the decider. Serving down 4-5, the Brit hit a double fault to put proceedings level at 40-40. Then a Berrettini forehand winner, followed by another unforced error from Norrie enabled the top seed to break for a chance to serve the match out. Something he did with a love service game.

The 25-year-old has become the first person to lift the Queen’s title on their debut since Boris Becker in 1985. He is only the second player from his country to have contested a final in the tournament’s history after Laurence Tieleman in 1998.

“It’s been an unbelievable week. If I think about his (Becker’s) name and my name (on the trophy) it’s crazy,” Berrettini reflected.
“I have been dreaming about playing this tournament. I watched it when I was a kid and now I have the chance to lift the trophy so it’s a dream come true.’
“I can not thank my team enough,” he added.

Norrie, who is currently at a ranking high of 41st in the world, continues the search for his maiden Tour title. It is the fourth final he has lost and the third this season. He was also runner-up in Estoril and Lyon earlier this year. On the other hand, Norrie is currently playing his best ever season in terms of matches won with a win-loss record of 29-12.

All credit to Matteo and his team. Great week for you and you’re just too good today. You were better than me on the big points,” he said during the trophy presentation.
“I’ve really enjoyed my tennis here (at Queen’s). It was a great week. It’s obviously great to have some tennis back in London and on the grass-courts.”

Berrettini’s career record on the grass now stands at 17-5.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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