Berrettini Outlasts Ruud to Reach Maiden Madrid Final against Zverev

Berrettini Outlasts Ruud to Reach Maiden Madrid Final against Zverev Photo: TT
Matteo Berrettini serves to Norway's Casper Ruud during their semi-final match at the Mutua Madrid Open, Saturday, May 8, 2021.

World No. 10 will play his first-ever Master 1000 final against Alexander Zverev on Sunday at the Caja Magica.

Matteo Berrettini has reached the Mutua Madrid Open final on his tournament debut by edging Casper Ruud in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 after one hour and 21 minutes.

The Italian player came out strong with his service - he hit 11 winners and two aces - taking the opening set 6-4 against the world No. 22.

At 5-4, the 25-year-old took the lead earning a break on Ruud’s service - the first player to do so this week - to seal the first set in 42 minutes.

In the second set, the eighth seed kept displaying his best tennis.

At 4-3, he broke the Norwegian’s serve on a second occasion to advance and close out 6-4.

Berrettini halted Ruud’s perfect week in Madrid; before their encounter, the Oslo native had not been broken in 38 service games (saving one break point) while winning all eight sets in his debut at the Spanish tournament.

Overall, the Roman hit 24 winners and struck 15 unforced errors, converting two of the three break points he faced.

Throughout his campaign at the ATP 1000 event, he moved past Fabio Fognini, Federico Delbonis, and Cristian Garin.

Moreover, after his triumph on Saturday, he became the third Italian to reach an ATP Masters 1000 final.

Fognini achieved the Monte Carlo Masters final in 2019 - which he won over Dusan Lajovic, while Jannik Sinner reached the ultimate stages at the 2021 Miami Open presented by Itau, losing to Hubert Hurkacz.

On Sunday, the 2021 Serbia Open champion will play the biggest final of his career as he faces fifth seed Alexander Zverev at the Manolo Santana Stadium.

The German player book a spot in his second final in Madrid by beating Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4, his first win over the world No. 4 since the 2018 Madrid final.

In general, I am super happy with the week. I would have never expected to be in the semi-finals. I cannot complain about anything,” said the Austrian player, who returned to action in Madrid recovering from a knee injury.

Zverev dominated the match from the start and is yet to lose a set this week.

The 24-year-old is seeking to win a second crown in the tournament, which would be his fourth ATP Masters 1000 title.

En route to the final, the Hamburg native claimed victories over Kei Nishikori, Daniel Evans, and five-time Madrid champion Rafael Nadal.

It is going to mean a lot to me [if I can win the final]. I am definitely looking forward to it”, Zverev commented.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and a journalist passionate about sports, particularly motorsport, tennis, and soccer

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