Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini were the rivals in the night match of the opening day of the ATP Finals in Turin, the first staged in Italy. The home player gave his best to challenge the better-ranked opponent, wasting set points in the closing stages of the opening set before retiring in the second set's second game due to abdomen pain.
Matteo became the first player who retired in the ATP Finals match since Andre Agassi in 1998, feeling crushed and beaten after not enduring the entire clash in front of the partisan crowd. After the encounter, Zverev said he felt like crying as well, praising Matteo and hoping to see him in the remaining two matches if the injury is not that serious.
The match lasted for an hour and 41 minutes, and it was a high-quality battle that saw all seven break points erased.
Matteo Berrettini retired against Alexander Zverev at the ATP Finals in Turin.
Berrettini fended off two break points in the encounter's opening game and saved another at 1-1 before bringing the game home with a service winner.
Matteo repelled a break chance in the seventh game with an unreturned serve before Zverev fired an ace a few minutes later for a hold at love and 4-4. Alexander grabbed the tenth game with a volley winner at the net and erased two set points at 5-6 to introduce a tie break.
Matteo opened a 5-3 advantage before spraying a forehand mistake. After a lot of drama, Alexander grabbed the breaker 9-7 after almost 80 minutes for a massive boost. Berrettini started to struggle with an injury in the second set's second game.
He had to retire to avoid more troubles and get himself a chance to play the remaining two encounters against Daniil Medvedev and Hubert Hurkacz. "I do not really know what to say because this is the worst feeling a player can have.
You play all year long to qualify for this beautiful tournament. For Matteo playing at home, this is the worst feeling I think he will ever have in his career. To be honest, I feel like crying right now. I know Matteo personally so well, and I just feel bad for him.
I thought the first set was incredibly high-level tennis, but that's not important. The most important thing is that both players can shake hands and are healthy at the end of the match, which was not the case today. I think a lot of you guys, everybody here in Italy looked forward to seeing Matteo play all three matches, maybe the semi-final or final," Alexander Zverev said.