Berrettini retains Queen’s title, shaping up well for Wimbledon

Matteo Berrettini of Italy celebrates his first set win over Serbian Filip Krajinovic in the final match of the Queen's Club Championships tennis in London on Sunday, June 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Matteo Berrettini of Italy celebrates his first set win over Serbian Filip Krajinovic in the final match of the Queen’s Club Championships tennis in London on Sunday, June 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

PA

Matteo Berrettini looks in fine form for another deep run at Wimbledon.

The second-seeded Italian retained his Queen’s Club title on grass by beating Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-4 in the final on Sunday. He backed up his title triumph in Stuttgart last week, which was also on grass.

Wimbledon begins on June 27 and Berrettini heads to the All England Club having won 20 of his last 21 matches on grass – his only loss to Novak Djokovic in four sets in the Wimbledon final last year.

“I couldn’t ask for a better start to the grass season,” Berrettini said. “I feel really good – obviously a Slam is different, best of five sets. And a lot of pressure is going to be on me. But I guess that’s normal.

Krajinovic was a surprise runner-up in west London, having never won a grass-court match at ATP level before this week, and the 30-year-old Serb usually tries to skip grass-court events if he can.

“I hated it,” Krajinovic said of the weed. “But now I feel like I want to play it more and more.”

His serve wasn’t big enough to threaten the tall and imposing Berrettini, who gave up just two break points and sent 14 aces, more than double Krajinovic’s. The last of them came on match point, after which he smashed a ball high in the sky and jumped the billboards to celebrate with his team and then his dad on Father’s Day.

Berrettini joined Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, Andy Murray, Marin Cilic and Feliciano Lopez as a multiple title winner at Queen’s since the turn of the century. He has won every game since returning to Stuttgart after three months out with a hand injury.

“A few weeks ago I couldn’t hold a racquet,” Berrettini said. “Now I’m here to lift the second trophy in a row.”

The Italian said he felt like crying thinking about the journey he’s been on since undergoing surgery on his right hand, which required treatment several times this week.

“I arrived in Stuttgart and I didn’t feel good, I wasn’t kicking the ball the way I wanted, like I used to,” Berrettini said. “I was like, ‘Guys, I think this is going to be tough.’

“But it went pretty well. I guess I’m Italian, I always complain. But I can’t complain now.”

Krajinovic lost his fifth consecutive ATP final, including two against Berrettini.

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