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Berrettini Survives Rome Test


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World No. 9 Matteo Berrettini lived to fight another day on Tuesday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, less than 48 hours after competing in a night final a the Mutua Madrid Open.

The Italian, who lost to Alexander Zverev in his first ATP Masters 1000 final in the Spanish capital on Sunday, recorded his ninth win in his past 10 matches by beating Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and two minutes.

“When you have big weapons and they aren’t working, you feel a little bit weaker,” said Berrettini. “He was returning really well. He played a really good match and struggled in the first set. I then found a way to fight through. I found the right energy and motivation, to be calm, and not get tight. Playing so many matches in the past few weeks helped me a lot. You always want to be clutch in the important moments.”

Berrettini, who is now 17-4 on the season, is currently eighth place in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin for a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals in November and will hoping for a strong showing at the Foro Italico in Rome. Last year, he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Ruud).

Two weeks ago, Berrettini picked up his fourth ATP Tour title at the Serbia Open in Belgrade (d. Karatsev), prior to his Madrid final run. He will now prepare to play Australia’s John Millman, who defeated Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-3, 6-4 in 86 minutes.

Basilashvili, winner of Qatar ExxonMobil Open and BMW Open crowns this year, got the decisive breakthrough en route to clinching the 37-minute first set with a forehand winner. But Berrettini responded with two breaks and 10 winners in the second set. The 25-year-old went on to save three break points at 3-3 in the decider, and secured his fourth win over Basilashvili, when the World No. 30 mis-hit a forehand wide.

Italian Lorenzo Sonego came through another tough battle, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 against No. 14 seed Gael Monfils of France, in two hours and 48 minutes.

Sonego, who is now 12-8 on the year, which includes singles and doubles titles at the Sardegna Open in Cagliari, struck 29 winners, and now challenges compatriot and wild card Gianluca Mager

Monfils, who was competing for the first time since 8 February, when he picked up a calf injury at the Australian Open, reached the 2006 Rome semi-finals (l. to Nadal).


Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, the No. 10 seed, posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over American qualifier Tommy Paul in one hour and 31 minutes. It was repeat of their scoreline at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters last month. He now faces Chile's Cristian Garin.