Berrettini Downs Van De Zandschulp, Advances to Queen's Club Final

Berrettini Downs Van De Zandschulp, Advances to Queen's Club Final Photo: TT
Matteo Berrettini playing his semifinal match against Botic van de Zandschulp (not pictured) in London at the Queen´s Club. June 18, 2022. Photo Courtesy: Cinch Championships.

Defending champion Matteo Berrettini secures a spot in the Cinch Championships Sunday’s final by defeating Dutch Botic van de Zandschulp in London.

Following an impressive return from injury to tour-level competition last week in Stuttgart, Matteo Berrettini books his second final in two weeks.

Aiming to win back-to-back titles at the Queen’s Club, the Italian advanced to the ATP 500 event championship match, overcoming World No. 29 Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 31 minutes.

In his on-court interview, the Roman-born player said: “It was a really tough match. We stopped for the rain. I had a lot of chances. It was windy again and really tough to play, but I definitely think it was the best match of the week, so I am really happy and looking forward to the final.”

Berrettini sustained an injury on his right hand, which forced him to undergo minor surgery, sidelining the World No. 10 from Tour for nearly three months.

He made a successful comeback at the ATP 250 Boss Open, prevailing over Scot Andy Murray to win the trophy for the second time in his career in the build-up to Wimbledon, where he reached the final last year, falling to reigning champion Novak Djokovic.

On Saturday, Berrettini consolidated his run of form, winning 19 of his past 20 grass-court encounters.

The 26-year-old will meet World No. 48 Filip Krajinovic, who stunned former Queen’s champion Marin Cilic in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 after one hour and 20 minutes to make his first grass court final appearance.

The Cinch Championships defending champion had a chance to close out the set when leading 5-3 but failed, quickly recovering though, to seal the opener 6-4 in 50 minutes over van de Zandschulp.

Halfway into the second set, the rain interrupted the action on court, which would resume with the 6-time ATP titlist extending his advantage to 4-2 over his opponent, marching to close out 6-3.

All in all, the Italian player, who will seek a fourth crown on grass Sunday, won 88 percent of his first-serve points and 59 with his second serve to the Dutchman’s 63 and 54 percent, respectively.

The second seed opened his campaign in London, powering past Brit Daniel Evans to rally against American Denis Kudla in three sets.

In the quarterfinals, he beat Tommy Paul before meeting the 2022 BMW Open by American Express runner-up in Munich, van de Zandschulp.

For his part, Krajinovic is having a dream week on British soil on his main draw debut at the tournament.

En route to the final, the 30-year-old edged Americans Jenson Brooksby and Sam Querrey. Next, he faced Briton Ryan Peniston and seventh seed Cilic.

After recording his biggest career win against Cilic, he commented: “It is an unbelievable feeling. I can’t believe I am in the final.”

Before this tournament, I had never won a match on grass. [I thought] I would come here and win just one or maybe two matches, but now I am in the final. It is a dream come true.”

Speaking about his expectations for the final, the 2021 semifinalist in Hamburg outlined: “I have nothing to lose, so let’s see. I will enjoy and see what happens and give my best.”

Berrettini leads the Head2Head series against the Serbian 2-0, who had never won an ATP title. The last time they played was in Belgrade last year, on the clay surface.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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