Berrettini Triumphs In Belgrade, Wins Serbia Open

Matteo Berrettini and Aslan Karatsev (photo: Marko Djokovic/Starsportphoto)


Matteo Berrettini of Italy has clinched his first ATP Tour title since 2019 by lifting the trophy of the Serbia Open in Belgrade. The No. 2 seed of the ATP 250 clay-court tournament stopped the run of in-form Russian Aslan Karatsev, winner over World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, in Sunday’s singles championship match.

In the pair’s first meeting, Berrettini struck nine aces and won 81 per cent of his first-service points to secure a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(0) victory in two hours and 27 minutes.

“This title is for my family, this is the first time that they are actually here to see me win the trophy even though it’s my fourth one,” Berrettini said in the trophy ceremony. “So this is a special one. We came a long way since I was a kid and they were bringing me everywhere, so I think they deserve to see this kind of tennis and this kind of level. I really love them.”

Berrettini, who earned €100,225 in prize money as well as 250 ATP Ranking points, was competing in just his second tournament since the Australian Open after an abdominal strain kept him off the courts.

“It’s been a pleasure being here. I came here not with the best feelings,” Berrettini said. “I came back from an injury, and it’s never easy to come back and play this kind of level, this kind of tennis.”

Djordje Djokovic pleased with organization

During the trophy presentation ceremony, tournament director Djordje Djokovic thanked everyone who participated in the organization of the 2021 Serbia Open:

“I am honored and pleased that we managed to bring this event to an end in the best possible way. I would like to thank everyone who worked alongside me in the organization, without them this event would not be possible. I think this will be one of the best, if not the best ATP event in 2021. I would also like to thank all the volunteers, ball boys and girls, umpires, all the sponsors, led by our general sponsor Telekom Srbija, as well as the Ministry of Sports and Youth, the City of Belgrade and the Government of the Republic of Serbia who selflessly supported this event, and not only this one, but also every other sports event, giving an opportunity to all of our young tennis players and athletes to become new champions, new Olympic champions and new sports ambassadors of the Republic of Serbia.”

Djordje Djokovic also thanked the two finalists. “You’ve both had an excellent week, we are thankful for having you here, I hope we will see you again in a few weeks.”

The Serbia Open tournament director stated that this tournament also had a charitable component. For every ace served, 50 Euros were donated through the Novak Djokovic Foundation. “Almost 300 aces were served, however, the tournament decided to donate a little more and round it up to 20,000 euros. We sincerely hope that this figure will help those who need it the most,” said Djokovic.

He added that the only thing missing at this event was the audience, and expressed hope that fans will be present in the stands in a few weeks already, at the next WTA and ATP tournaments scheduled to take place in Belgrade.