Matteo Berrettini moved past Daniel Evans 7-6(5), 6-3 at the cinch Championships in London on Friday to reach his third ATP Tour career semi-final on grass.
The Italian, who is currently No. 9 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, improved to 24-6 on the season, having lifted the trophy at the Serbia Open (d. Karatsev) and reached the final at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Zverev). Berrettini has had success on this surface before, having won the MercedesCup in Stuttgart in 2019 (d. Auger-Aliassime).
The top seed hit 13 aces and won 81 per cent (38/48) of his first-service points against Evans to advance in one hour and 40 minutes.
“I didn’t serve that well, but I was returning well and I just played better in the last few points of the tie-break,” Berrettini said. “After that, I felt more confident. The conditions were really tough, windy and cold, so I took time to adapt a little bit. I am pretty happy with my performance.
“The court condition was really good. I expected slippery conditions, but it was like yesterday. I came here to win the tournament, that is my goal. Now I am two steps away, I will think about the next match tomorrow. I am happy with the way I am playing, and my mental attitude is really good.”
The Italian, who is currently No. 9 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, is now 24-6 on the season, having lifted the trophy at the Serbia Open (d. Karatsev) and reached the final at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Zverev).
In a first ATP Head2Head meeting between the two, both fended off break points at the start of the match as they acclimatised to the damp conditions. After Evans battled through a mammoth game to lead 3-2, the set continued on serve as it reached a tie-break, which Berrettini won after Evans could only push a defensive forehand long.
At the start of the second, Berrettini hammered down four straight aces as he moved 2-1 ahead. The 25-year-old won 57 per cent (8/14) of points on Evans first serve in the second set and broke in the eighth game before closing out victory on serve.
Sixth seed Evans had not dropped a set on his way to the quarter-finals, beating Alexei Popyrin and Adrian Mannarino, but he fell on Friday, meaning the Murray River Open champion (d. Auger-Aliassime) now holds a 14-11 record this season.
Berrettini will now play fourth seed Alex de Minaur in the semi-finals on Saturday.
The Australian de Minaur fought back to defeat former two-time titlist Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and five minutes to advance to the semi-finals on Friday. The 22-year-old, who is currently No. 22 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, won 73 per cent (22/30) of his second-service points and saved 6 of the 7 break points he faced as he moved to 16-12 for the season.