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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday April 25, 2021

 
Matteo Berrettini

Matteo Berretini edged Aslan Karatsev in Belgrade for his third clay title, and fourth overall.

Photo Source: Getty

Quietly, Italy’s Matteo Berrettini has been having an exceptional season. The 25-year-old World No.10, who is just returning from an injury that he suffered at the Australian Open this year, claimed his fourth ATP title, and first since 2019, on Sunday by defeating Russia’s Aslan Karatsev, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(0).

Tennis Express


Berrettini improved to 4-1 in ATP title matches and took down the man who knocked off World No.1 Novak Djokovic on Saturday.

Having his family in attendance in Belgrade gave Berrettini and extra boost this week, and he thanked him after his 12th victory of the 2021 season.

“This title is for my family, this is the first time that they are actually here to see me win the trophy even though it’s my fourth one,” Berrettini said in the trophy ceremony. “So this is a special one. We came a long way since I was a kid and they were bringing me everywhere, so I think they deserve to see this kind of tennis and this kind of level. I really love them.”


Karatsev was on the court for well over three hours on Saturday against Novak Djokovic, but showed resilience after dropping a lopsided opening set. He pushed back, took Berrettini to a decider and then rallied from a break down in set three. The Russian even saved a match point to get to the third set tiebreaker, but I was all Berrettini from there.

Berretini saved one of three break points in the final, and broke Karatsev three times on seven opportunities.

“In the end when you're in a final, it's who wants it more,” Berrettini said. “Yes, you have to play good tennis, you have to be tough, but at the end of the day the Rankings doesn't count, the Race doesn't count. It's just who wants it more or who is more ready, and I guess today I was better than him."

 

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