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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday August 11, 2021

Matteo Berrettini

Matteo Berrettini survived a three-setter with Albert Ramos Vinolas to reach the third round at the Western & Southern Open.

Photo Source: Gett

One match does not make a successful hard court season, but it’s a start. And considering the alternative, which would have been to head to the US Open with one match since Wimbledon, Matteo Berrettini did himself a giant favor by rallying to defeat Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday night in Cincinnati.

Tennis Express

"I'm happy for the win. I think I served really well. My strokes from the baseline weren't working the way I wanted them to, but I knew from the beginning it's been a long time since I played a match, especially on hard, so I expected to feel a little bit weird," Berrettini said after pumping 25 aces past the Spanish veteran and saving all five break points he face to win in two hours and 20 minutes. "But the most important thing was that I was there, I fought every point, I tried to put myself in conditions where I could win the match. That's what I'm most happy about."

Berrettini said he was extremely disappointed when he learned that his injury was too serious to allow him to play the Tokyo Olympics.

"It was tricky, because I took a few days off after Wimby, I was really tired and my leg was hurting,” he said. “But then before Tokyo I did an MRI, and it was showing that I still had a tear so it didn't make sense to go to Tokyo, it was really sad for me so it didn't make sense to go to Tokyo - it's something that I have been dreaming about since I was a kid, it was really, really sad for more than a few days, it wasn't easy to digest, but after that I went straight to rehab."

The former US Open semifinalist, who has won 15 of his last 17 matches, is hoping to pick up a few more matches at least in Cincinnati. He will face either Karen Khachanov or Felix Auger-Aliassime in round of 16 action on Thursday.

"I really put a lot of effort in order to come back and get ready for the US swing. I think I started hitting probably almost two weeks ago, something like that, so I know that tennis, I need matches and that's why I said that it's really good that I won today, because I need matches to get ready - hopefully I am going to have a good run here, that for sure is going to help me at the US Open as well."


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