Berrettini knocked out in the final in Stuttgart, a painful defeat against Draper


By John

Matteo Berrettini fails to win the ATP 250 in Stuttgart for the third time in his career. In the final the Roman tennis player, fresh from a troubled season, surrendered to the British Jack Draper, comeback victorious in his first success in an ATP tournament. «This defeat will hurt me for a while but I have won and lost matches like this» says Berrettini at the end of the match, complimenting his opponent: «you played an incredible tournament and final. I am convinced that Jack will win many more tournaments.”
No “happy ending” for the Roman tennis player on the Stuttgart grass: the 28-year-old Roman, n.95 ATP, competing with the protected ranking, winner of the 2019 and 2022 editions, lost 3-6 7-6( 5) 6-4, after more than two hours of play, to the British left-handed Jack Draper, n.40 in the ranking and sixth seeding favourite. From tomorrow the 22-year-old from Sutton will rise to number 30 in the ranking (“best”), becoming the new number one in Great Britain.
TO Berrettini’s 14 aces were not enough (against 3 double faults) also because his opponent threw 12 of them (and 2 double faults), nor a higher percentage of first serves (68% against 64%) because Jack was superior both in terms of points won with the first serve (87% against 83%) and with the second serve (58 % versus 52%). The Italian saved 2 out of 3 break points, the British 3 out of 4. Berrettini, however, closed with more winners, 38 (compared to 13 free ones): 34 against 12 for Draper.
«I came very close to winning it, this defeat will hurt me for a while but I have won and lost matches like this – commented the Italian – I must of course say thanks to my team, only we know what we have been through, the ups and downs low, injuries: it’s all part of sport and life anyway.
The people who work with me have given me strength when I thought I had none, thank you. It’s just the first step in the grass season.”
Then the thanks “also to all those who followed the match from home, I’m sorry I didn’t satisfy you, but I read your messages, your comments: you are the best”.
Tomorrow a new chapter opens for Berrettini in Halle.
The Italian will make his debut against a qualifier in the run-up to Wimbledon in the first tournament that will see Jannik Sinner play as the No. 1 in the ranking.