The 22-year-old Italian Matteo Berrettini had entered the 2018 season with no ATP wins under his belt but he was determined to change that quickly, qualifying for the main draw in Doha to score his maiden win on the Tour. Three solid Challenger results have brought him to the verge of entering the Top 100 and he achieved that after winning a match in Rome in front of the home crowd.
Matteo reached the third round at the Roland Garros and the best was yet to come this week in Gstaad, winning five matches in straight sets to lift his first ATP title following a 7-6 6-4 triumph over the 2nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the title match.
The encounter lasted an hour and 45 minutes and it was a brilliant performance from the young Italian, firing 17 aces and losing 12 points on serve in total, never facing a break point. Playing in his first tournament since Halle where he suffered an injury in the semi-final, the Spaniard gave his best to stay in touch with his opponent, fending off five out of six break chances to keep himself in contention, wasting two set points in the first set tie break that could give him a huge boost.
Instead of that, Matteo stole the breaker 11-9 and he dominated in the second set on serve to wait for a chance on the return patiently. He converted the sixth break point in the 10th game and that pushed him over the finish line, celebrating his biggest success on the Tour so far as the ninth player with the maiden ATP crown this year.
Roberto held in the opening game of the match after a service winner following four deuces and both players served well on fast clay in Gstaad, reaching a tie break after 41 minutes. Returners had no chances in the opening 10 points and the Spaniard drew first blood in the 11th point when Matteo sent a forehand long.
A double fault from Bautista Agut kept the Italian in contention and Matteo moved 8-7 in front with two aces. He failed to convert two break points but the third proved to be the lucky one for him, firing a forehand down the line winner at 10-9 to clinch the opener and gain a huge boost before the rest of the match.
Berrettini was on a high level on serve in set number two as well and he wasted four break points in the second game that could move him closer to the finish line. Roberto fends off another break point in game six and he had three game points to level the score at 5-5.
He couldn't bring the match home and Berrettini earned a match point with a great forehand down the line. Another great forehand from the return sealed the deal for the Italian and he could start a huge celebration after his biggest success on the Tour so far, with plenty more to come in the following years.