Matteo Berrettini wins the Ultimate Tennis Showdown over Stefanos Tsitsiipas



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Matteo Berrettini wins the Ultimate Tennis Showdown over Stefanos Tsitsiipas

Italy's Matteo Berrettini has won the first edition of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown with a win over Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in a sudden-death encounter, winning 16-15, 15-12, 12-14, 8-15, 3-2.

Italy's Matteo Berrettini wins the Ultimate Tennis Showdown

Tsitsipas, as he had done in the round-robin encounter against Berrettini, fought back from two quarters down to send the match to sudden death.

However, it was Berrettini who won the title with a brilliant winner to defeat the world number six, who had a record of 9-1 in the league coming into the final. Tsitsipas said, "Yea, I was pretty upset when I lost because I was also up two quarters to love – it is tough but you have to handle it.

This time is said to myself: ‘It is not going to happen. No, you’re going to win this one’. I went one match point down twice, but I played those points well. It was very close. It was all on details. I just need to hold tight in there.

It’s going to come, just patience, persistence. I need to keep my calm. I have to feel spiritual today with myself”. Berrettini used his "Wiinner X3" card to good effect to get back the momentum from Tsitsipas.

"I think (the experience of playing the UTS) is going to help me in the future. When he hit the approach I thought, I really hope he hits to the forehand. I just closed my eyes and hit a winner. I guess that was the secret, serving well on the important moments.

I think this format is going to help me going forward, you have to be there for every point”. The event also featured David Goffin, Dominic Thiem, Richard Gasquet and Feliciano Lopez. The Ultimate Tennis Showdown is an exhibition event that was organised by French coach Patrick Mouratoglou due to the shutdown of the tennis circuit in March due to the global pandemic.

The tournament was played without any fans and strict social distancing measures. The event is using a different scoring system as compared to a traditional tennis match, and no code of conduct violations. It is played in four quarters, with sudden death if the quarters are tied at two apiece.

There are also a number of "cards" that can be played once a set, including taking away your opponent's second serve. Coaching is permitted once per set, and only 15 seconds are taken between points.