Rising Italian star Matteo Berrettini was pleased with his first round performance at the Mercedes Cup as the Italian saw off last year's Stuttgart semifinalist Nick Kyrgios 6-3 6-4. Berrettini, ranked at No. 30 in the world, broke Kyrgios in the sixth game of the first set and then held on to his serve to clinch the opener.
World No. 36 Kyrgios led 4-3 after the opening seven games of the first before the 23-year-old Italian won three games in a row to claim a straight-set win in the first-ever meeting between the two. "I am really happy with my second match on grass this year after the Davis Cup in India,” Berrettini said post-match, per Tennis TourTalk.
"I am pleased with my performance. The serve was key and I was focused and ready when I had my chances on the return. "It was difficult to play against him, as he has a lot of great strokes." Berrettini plays next against second-seeded Karen Khachanov, who had a first round bye at the tournament.
The Italian expects a tough match against world No. 9 Karen Khachanov, who made the French Open quarterfinal before losing to eventual runner-up Dominic Thiem. "He played a great tournament at Roland Garros. He has confidence but I will be ready," Berrettini acknowledged.