LONDON, November 14, 2019
Matteo Berrettini became the first Italian to win a singles match at the Nitto ATP Finals with a straight-sets victory over Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who had already secured a semi-final place. In his final round-robin match in Group Björn Borg, the 23-year-old Italian won 7-6(3), 6-3.
Berrettini, who broke into Top 10 of the ATP Rankings on October 28 and achieved career-high position of No 8 on November 4, capitalized on both of his two break point chances to prevail after one hour and 16 minutes.
🇮🇹 The first Italian ever to win a singles match at the #NittoATPFinals 🇮🇹
What a way to end a breakthrough season for Matteo Berrettini!
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 14, 2019
“I’m really proud of myself and more for my team, my family and my friends. It’s been an unbelievable season and I didn’t expect at the beginning to be here. I hope to be back next year. I’m happy to finish with a win,” Berrettini said. The last Italians to compete at the season finale in singles were Adriano Panatta in 1975 and Corrado Barazzutti in 1978 but both lost all three of their round-robin matches.
“It’s a bit of a tricky situation to know that I’m already through,” Thiem said. “So all the attention and the adrenaline is set down a little bit. Of course I was still trying to win that match 100 per cent but also I knew in my head that I had to take care for Saturday, because obviously it’s the more important match there.”
Kubot/Melo into semis
Earlier in the afternoon, Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Brazilian Marcelo Melo booked their places in the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals after they finished Group Jonas Bjorkman with a 2-1 round-robin record.
Second seeds, who finished runners up in 2017, edged past fourth seeds Rajeev Ram from the United States and Briton Joe Salisbury 6-7(5), 6-4, 10-7 in one hour and 44 minutes.