Matteo Berrettini sets to defend Gstaad title in July

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Matteo Berrettini sets to defend Gstaad title in July

Located near the French border, the Swiss Open in Gstaad is one of the most beautiful stops in the ATP calendar (settled in the Bernese Alps) and also with a great tradition, starting way back in 1915. Gstaad became a part of the Open era in 1968 and some great names had found the place on the trophy winners list, including Roy Emerson, Tony Roche, John Newcombe, Ilie Nastase, Guillermo Vilas, Ken Rosewall (one of his last ATP titles), Stefan Edberg, Sergi Bruguera and some other notable Spaniards, followed by Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem.

A year ago, the young Italian Matteo Berrettini went all the way to lift the maiden ATP trophy, winning all five matches in straight sets and fending off all nine break points to achieve the most notable result on the Tour.

In the title match, Matteo took down Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 45 minutes, blasting 17 aces and dropping just 12 points in 11 service games on a speedy clay court to keep the pressure on the more experienced rival who had a set point at 6-5 in the tie break.

Instead of closing the set, Roberto hit a double fault and Berrettini saved another set point at 6-7, firing two aces and finally taking the set 11-9 with a forehand down the line winner that gave him all the momentum. Serving at 4-5 in set number two, Bautista Agut wasted three game points to lose serve for the first time in the match and hand the title to his young opponent.

After signing the Spaniard for the 2019 edition, the organizers have proudly announced that Matteo Berrettini will return to Gstaad to defend the title between July 22-28. Scoring no ATP wins before 2018, Matteo made incredible progress in the previous season, clinching 19 triumphs on the main Tour and standing in the top-60 since the end of July.

The start of the new season wasn't that good but he is off to a winning start in Sofia where he is among the dark horses if the favorites fail to deliver their best tennis.