After three months away to recover from surgery on his right hand, Matteo Berrettini returns to tennis could not have gone any better. The 2021 Wimbledon finalist went all the way to the Stuttgart title taking down Andy Murray today in three sets 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.
It’s Berrettini’s sixth career title, 3rd on grass and first win anywhere since Queen’s a year ago. He also won Stuttgart in 2019.
“It is unbelievable. It was obviously a goal, but I thought it would be really, really tough,” Berrettini said. “I don’t even think I played my best tennis, but that is why I am even more proud of myself. Mentally I was really tough. I did an unbelievable job to be there. I fought hard and this means a lot.
“My body is hurting a little bit,” he added. “It had been three matches without matches and today was almost three hours, so I am feeling it.”
Berrettini grabbed a quick break early in the first and then it was Murray getting on top with a late break in the second. Berrettini got back on track breaking Murray to start the third and it was all he needed.
Murray, who was seeking his 47th career title, had one of his best weeks in some time beating Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios then pushing the Italian to three sets in his first grass final since Wimbledon 2016. He falls to 1-2 against Berrettini. His grass preparation paid off, but late in the match he needed treatment for an abdominal muscle issue.
“Sorry I couldn’t get over the line today but there has been a lot of progress the last few weeks,” said Murray who was clearly hampered by the injury by the end of the match. “I’m looking forward to what the future has to hold and feeling a lot better about my game. Hopefully my body can hold up a little while longer so I can keep playing matches like this.”
Both will head to Queen’s where they could meet again in the second round.
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