Berrettini To Face Auger-Aliassime For Stuttgart Title

Matteo Berrettini

STUTTGART, June 15, 2019

Matteo Berrettini advanced to the title match of the MercedesCup. In the lone singles semi-final played on Saturday, the World No. 30 from Italy defeated Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-4, 7-5.

Berrettini, who has not lost a service game so far this week, saved both break points he faced, capitalizing on two of his own four chances to secure victory in one hour and 14 minutes.

“I didn’t feel too comfortable on court today, as he played really well,” Berrettini said after reaching his first championship match on grass. “Following my first break in the first set, I started to feel more relaxed and began to serve better. I am really happy to be through.”

Matteo Berrettini

After finishing runner-up to Cristian Garin at the BMW Open in Munich, Berrettini will play his second final on German soil this season. “I used to come to Germany when I was a junior. As long as the weather is nice, it is a very nice country. In Munich it was snowing, which was tough,” the Rome native laughed. “The tournaments are organized very well and today was a great day to play tennis.”

Similarly to Munich, a car will be at stake in the title match. “I don’t like cars too much, as I don’t spend too much time at home. I don’t drive very often. For sure, Germany has a couple of nice brands, but I am more focused on tennis than on cars,” Berrettini said.

Positive week for Struff

Struff was seeking his first final on the ATP Tour in his seventh attempt. “Of course, I am disappointed right now. Overall, however, it was not a bad start into the grass-court season. I think that I am ready to make the next step. I also needed nine finals on the ATP Challenger Tour to eventually win my first title. Maybe I will make it to the final after next time,” the 29-year-old German said. Struff, who will reach a new career-high ranking at World No. 34 on Monday, as well as Berrettini will both play at the NOVENTI Open in Halle next week.

Raonic withdraws

Later in the day, Milos Raonic announced his withdrawal from the second semi-final due to a back injury. The No. 6 seed was scheduled to play his Canadian compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime.

“It’s hard for me to accept this situation but it is how it is,” Raonic said. “I’m happy that Felix has an opportunity to win his first title, so I wish him all the best.”

The 18-year-old will now appear in his third title match on the ATP Tour, finishing runner-up to Laslo Djere at Rio de Janeiro and to Benoit Paire in Lyon earlier this season. Auger-Aliassime and Berrettini will meet for the first time.

“Felix is a great player,” Berrettini commented on his upcoming opponent. “He is young, but he looks like a wise guy. I am really looking forward what is going to happen. I think it will be a great match and will give my best.” 

Sunday’s tennis action will be opened by the doubles final. Top seeds John Peers of Australia and Brazilian Bruno Soares will face Canadian young gun Denis Shapovalov and veteran Rohan Bopanna of India. The encounter will start at 12:30 pm local time. The singles final will be played not before 3 pm.