Matteo Berrettini was crowned champion of the cinch Championships at Queen’s Club in London for the second year running after a 7-5 6-4 victory over Filip Krajinovic.
The back-to-back winner served 14 aces during the match in an aggressive performance that Krajinovic – who raised eyebrows by making the final – found tricky to deal with, as the 26-year-old became the first player in the Open Era to win titles in his first two appearances in London.
Breaks were exchanged in the middle of the first set as both players tried to find their feet in the match, and Berrettini had the set sewn up in just under an hour after stepping up the intensity and power in his groundstrokes.
Berrettini went into the second set full of confidence, and continued to attack Krajinovic who is not used to grass courts, having only won his first tour-level game on the surface this week.
He won 86% of his first-serve points and gained the decisive break in the fifth game, holding his nerve to close the set with an ace to win his ninth match in a row.
Speaking on court after retaining the title, he said: “there were too many emotions.
“I don’t even know (how it feels to defend the title), there are too many emotions.
“The last thing that I expected was coming back from the surgery and winning two times in a row, defending my title here at one of the most prestigious tournaments that we have.
I DON’T WANT TO CRY, BUT MOST OF IT IS DOWN TO THEM, MY TEAMMATES AND FAMILY, THE PEOPLE THAT ARE CLOSE TO ME, I JUST CANNOT BELIEVE IT.
Berrettini returned to the Stuttgart Open earlier in June after three months off the tour with a hand injury, beating Andy Murray in the final to win his first of two ATP titles in as many weeks.
“My team can tell you I arrived to Stuttgart and I wasn’t feeling great,” he said. “I wasn’t hitting the ball the way I wanted, the way I used to do, and I was like ‘guys I think this is going to be tough’, and then it went pretty well!
“I guess I’m always complaining, but I cannot complain now.”
Berrettini has now won at Queen’s Club for a second year in succession after beating Cameron Norrie 6–4 6–7(5) 6–3 in last year’s final, and says the thought of becoming a double champion gives him “goosebumps”.
He said: “I see all the names of the champions from the past, and now knowing it’s going to be me twice on the same wall, that gives me goosebumps.”