ATP Stuttgart: Matteo Berrettini cries while leaving court


Matteo Berrettini will not defend the last year’s Stuttgart title! The Italian played his first tournament since April and experienced a tough loss, leaving the court in tears! Berrettini withdrew ahead of the third-round clash with Holger Rune in Monte Carlo, feeling the pain in his obliques and deciding to end his campaign and recover. However, he is yet to find his A-game two months later, falling in the opening round in Stuttgart to his compatriot Lorenzo Sonego 6-1, 6-2 in 71 minutes! Matteo never found his usual pace on grass against the fellow Italian, getting broken four times and squandering all six break chances for a tough loss and emotions while leaving the court. Sonego served at 79% and played better in the crucial moments, controlling the pace and dethroning Berrettini in style. Lorenzo held at 15 in the encounter’s first game and came from 40-15 down in game two to create a break chance after Matteo’s backhand error.

Matteo Berrettini made a poor return after being sidelined for two months.

Berrettini netted a forehand to drop four straight points and fall 2-0 behind. Matteo cracked a forehand crosscourt winner in the third game for two break chances, eager to pull the break back immediately. Sonego denied them and held with a forehand winner to forge a 3-0 advantage and settle into a fine rhythm. Berrettini fired an ace down the T line in the fourth game before his rival brought the next one home with a service winner for 4-1. Matteo placed a routine forehand wide in the sixth game and faced two break points. His slice landed wide, and Lorenzo opened a massive 5-1 advantage. Sonego forced Berrettini’s mistake on the third set point to wrap up the opener 6-1 in half an hour.

With no free points to help him, Matteo got broken again at the start of the second set to fall closer to the edge. Lorenzo confirmed the break with a hold at 30 in game two and created three break points in the next one after Matteo’s wild forehand. Berrettini placed a slice long on the second to experience another break and fall 3-0 behind. Sonego opened a 4-0 gap with an ace in game four and earned a break chance in the next one, moving closer to a bagel. Matteo denied it and held to at least reduce the deficit. Lorenzo served at 4-1 and faced four break points. He saved them and held for 5-1 after Matteo’s forehand mistake. The defending champion produced his best hold in the seventh game, wrapping it up with a booming serve before Sonego served for the win at 5-2. Lorenzo held at 30 to emerge at the top and advance into the second round. 

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