Matteo Berrettini announced himself as a serious contender for Novak Djokovic’s Wimbledon title by winning the cinch Championships at Queen’s in superb style. Berrettini completed a hat-trick of wins over home players by beating Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 at a noisy Queen’s Club in west London.
The Italian world No 9 had beaten Andy Murray and British No 1 Dan Evans on his run to the final.
And the future superstar becomes the first player to win at Queen’s Club on his debut since Boris Becker in 1985. Two weeks later the teenage German went on to lift the Wimbledon title.
Berrettini served superbly – and did not face a break point – and held off a brave fightback by Norrie who forced a decider after winning the second set.
Berrettini, who sent down 19 aces and did not drop his serve after his first round match, said: “I was dreaming about playing this tournament.
“I was watching as a kid and now I have the chance to lift the trophy so it is a dream coming true. It was such a nice week.”
Norrie said: “All credit to Matteo and your team. You were too good today, better than me on the big points.
“For sure I have had a fantastic week. If you had told me at the start of the week I would be in the final, I would have signed for that.
“It was a great week, I really enjoyed my tennis. It is great to have tennis back in the UK, in London and back on the grass-courts.”
Berrettini has now claimed five ATP Tour titles – and this is his second on grass after winning the 2019 Stuttgart Open.
The 25-year-old has the big serve and powerful forehand to trouble all the top stars on grass – and is trending towards a Grand Slam breakthrough.
He reached the 2019 US Open semi-final and took a set off Djokovic in the quarter-finals on the clay in Paris earlier this month.
Amazon Prime pundit Greg Rusedki said: “Berrettini served out of a tree. For Norrie to stay in the match for that long was a sensational performance.
“The Italian stallion looks like the man going into Wimbledon. He will now look to copy Boris Becker and go on to win Wimbledon.
“Yes Djokovic is still the favourite but you have to put his name down all of a sudden who can possibly go deep and possibly win Wimbledon after this performance at this event.”
Norrie will go to Wimbledon as a seed for the first time after bringing his excellent clay-court form back home. But the British No 2 has still to win his first ATP Tour title after losing his fourth final – and his third this year.
World No 7 Andrey Rublev lost the final of the Halle Open to Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-3 7-6.
The 2016 finalist Milos Raonic of Canada is out of Wimbledon with a calf injury that has kept him out since March.
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed