Basilashvili and Berrettini Claim First ATP Titles in Hamburg and Gstaad
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
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By a score of 6-4 0-6 7-6 Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili claimed his maiden ATP title, lifting the Hamburg 500 crown against finalist Leonardo Mayer, a player who has made great improvements in his career standing thanks to the Hamburg tournament.
Basilashvili had to battle this week as he came through qualifying with a pair of wins. He then upset Phillipp Kohlschreiber on home clay in three sets, defeated accomplished clay courters Pablo Cuevas and Pablo Carreno Busta in straights, and then edged Nicolas Jarry in three sets in the semis. Against both Jarry and Mayer Basilashvili was bageled in the second set but won anyway as he showed streaky form this week.
Mayer defeated Albert Ramos, Gael Monfils, Diego Schwartzman, and Jozef Kovalik to reach the final, he needed three sets against both DSS and Kovalik, with the win against Kovalik coming in a third set tiebreak.
Peralta and Zeballos defeated Marach/Pavic in the doubles final, concluding the ATP 500 series on clay for 2018.
In the Gstaad 250 rapidly rising Italian Matteo Berrettini claimed his first title, upsetting Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 6-4. Berrettini completed the double this week as he won the doubles title with his Italian partner Bracciali against Molchanov/Zelenay in straights.
The 22 year old from Rome has built himself this season and last on the challenger tour and in qualifying. This tournament he got past Radu Albot, Andrey Rublev, Feliciano Lopez, and Jurgen Zopp without dropping a set. The final win meaning he didn’t drop a set all week despite being an underdog in a couple of matches.
RBA put in a solid performance defeated Jaume Munar in three sets, Taro Daniel in straights, and Laslo Djere in three sets to reach the final.
Right now Italian tennis is having a resurgence as Fabio Fognini, Marco Cecchinato, and Berrettini are in good form, particularly on clay, and should form a formidable Davis Cup trio in the ties to come.