Berrettini overpowers Auger-Aliassime to lift Stuttgart Open title
World No 30-rated Italian claims his first title success on grasscourt
Felix Auger-Aliassime, right, congratulates Matteo Berrettini on his victory after the final of the Stuttgart Open at Tennisclub Weissenhof in Stuttgart, Germany. Photograph: Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images
Italian Matteo Berrettini claimed his first grasscourt title with a 6-4 7-6(11) victory over Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Stuttgart Open final on Sunday.
World number 30 Berrettini saved five points in the marathon second set tiebreak and held on to win it 13-11 for his third ATP crown in last 11 months.
Berrettini, who defeated home favourite Jan-Lennard Struff in the semi-final, grabbed an early break point in the opening set, as the 18-year-old erred by pushing a backhand approach shot into the net.
Auger-Aliassime, who is youngest player in the world’s top 100, was unable to take advantage of one of his five chances in the tiebreak, with Berrettini serving well under pressure before taking control of points on his forehand.
Berrettini won all 50 of his service games over the week, claiming more than 89 per cent of his first-serve points in his five matches and becoming the first Italian male grasscourt title-winner since Andreas Seppi in Eastbourne in 2011.
The 23-year-old had never tasted victory on grass before, with both his previous wins coming on clay courts in Gstaad and Budapest.
Stuttgart marks Auger-Aliassime’s third defeat in as many finals this year after losing out in Rio de Janeiro and Lyon.