A new week. A new level from Matteo Berrettini.
The Italian kick-started his Tennis Napoli Cup campaign Thursday with a confident second-round performance to down Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4, 6-2. The pair’s meeting at the ATP 250 event in Naples came just eight days after Carballes Baena had upset Berrettini on the indoor courts in Florence, but the second seed put that previous disappointment to bed in style as he charged to a 91-minute second-round victory.
“The atmosphere, The conditions [were different to Florence] for sure,” said Berrettini after the match. “This is outdoor, way warmer, and I wanted to get revenge. I felt like I had a lot of chances last week and it was tough to digest, especially because I played in Florence, in Italy, so it was really tough. But today I stepped on the court, I think with even more will to win this match, and I think I played better.”
Berrettini struck his forehand cleanly throughout, crashing 36 winners to his opponent’s seven en route to his 30th tour-level win of the season. Carballes Baena showed early intent and carved out the first break point of the match in the second game, but once the Italian escaped via a big serve he assumed control. Berrettini converted three from five break points and sealed the win with a huge inside-out forehand to the delight of the home crowd.
Berrettini, who currently sits in 15th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, seeks a strong run this week in Naples to keep alive his outside chance of qualifying for November’s Nitto ATP Finals. His next opponent at the hard-court event will be Taro Daniel, after the Japanese overcame Pedro Cachin 6-4, 7-6(2).
More to follow…