World no. 10 Matteo Berrettini is ready for a much better season than in 2020. The Italian ousted world no. 3 and the US Open champion Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes at the ATP Cup in Melbourne, leveling the overall score between Italy and Austria to 1-1.
Berrettini was the more aggressive player, facing only one break point in the entire encounter and stealing Thiem's serve four times to sail over the top. Dominic played well against Nadal in Adelaide last Friday but looked flat today, placing less than ten winners and never finding the rhythm necessary to challenge such a strong opponent.
Thiem held at love in the opening game when Berrettini netted a forehand, with the Italian locking the result at 1-1 with a forehand down the line winner in game two. Playing well so far, Dominic fired a service winner for another hold at love and a 2-1 advantage, followed by his opponent, who brought the result back to 2-2.
Out of a sudden, Dominic lost serve at 15 following Matteo's deep return, allowing the Italian to open a 4-2 gap with an ace in game six.
Matteo Berrettini defeated Dominic Thiem in straight sets at the ATP Cup.
From 40-15 up, Thiem wasted three game points and suffered a break when his backhand landed wide, pushing Berrettini further ahead.
Serving for the opener, Matteo hit four winners in game eight to wrap up the first set in 30 minutes, hoping for more of the same in set number two. Finding nothing to work on behind the initial shot, Dominic sent a backhand slice long at the beginning of the second set for an instant setback, falling 6-2, 2-0 down when Matteo landed another service winner a few minutes later.
The Italian grabbed another more extended rally in the third game to earn the fourth consecutive break and take a massive step towards the finish line. Thiem held in game five to avoid a complete disaster and pulled one break back with a perfect lob to reduce the deficit to 2-4.
Berrettini closed the eighth game with a forehand crosscourt winner to remain in front and sealed the deal after deuce in game ten to notch the seventh top-10 victory.