Berrettini wins ATP match after 8 months, Wawrinka advances

Berrettini wins ATP match after 8 months, Wawrinka advances
Berrettini wins ATP match after 8 months, Wawrinka advances

Marrakech (Morocco) – After almost eight long months of fasting, Italian Matteo Berrettini finally won a match again in the elite of the circuit. This Tuesday, the former number 6 in the world and current 135th in the ranking debuted with victory at the ATP 250 in Marrakech, beating Kazakh Alexander Shevchenko, 56th placed and sixth seed in the tournament, by 6/2 and 6/ 1 in 1h14 of departure.

Struck by injuries last season, Berrettini spent seven months without playing and only played his first tournament this season in March, reaching the final of the Phoenix challenger. Soon after, he went to Miami, but fell to Britain’s Andy Murray in the first round of the second Masters 1000 on the calendar.

His last triumph at ATP level was at the opening of the US Open, in August last year, against Frenchman Ugo Humbert. In the following game, against fellow Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech, the Italian suffered a serious sprained ankle that took him out of action for the rest of the year. The 2021 Wimbledon runner-up planned to return to the courts in January, but a new foot problem delayed his return for another two months.

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Now recovered, Berrettini faces Spaniard Jaume Munar in the second round, who in his debut beat Frenchman Luca van Assche 7/6 (7-3) and 6/2. The two have never faced each other on the circuit, but Munar has already finished quarter-finals in Marrakech, while Berrettini didn’t make it past his debut in his only appearance six years ago.

Wawrinka and Fognini debut with victory
Also starting his campaign on Moroccan clay well was the Swiss Stan Wawrinka, champion in 2010, when the tournament was still played in Casablanca. In a veterans’ duel against Spaniard Albert Ramos, the former number 3 in the world and current 82nd in the rankings came out on top in two sets, scoring 6/1 and 6/4 in 1h15. Wawrinka’s next challenge will be an unprecedented duel against Argentine Mariano Navone, current Rio Open runner-up and seventh seed, who defeated Tunisian guest Aziz Dougaz in his debut by 6/3 and 6/2.

Coming from Quali, Italian Fabio Fognini was another big name to advance to the second phase of the competition. In a closely contested game, he needed 2h34 to beat Frenchman Hugo Gaston, with a final score of 6/7 (4-7), 6/1 and 6/4. Now, the 36-year-old player and number 100 in the world will face the main favorite for the title in Marrakech, the Serbian Laslo Djere, ranked 34th in the ATP and who got a bye in the opening round.

Other results of the day
The big surprise this Tuesday was the early elimination of Argentine Facundo Diaz Acosta, fifth pre-registered for the tournament, to North American Nicolas Moreno De Alboran, coming from the qualifier, by 6/4, 3/6 and 6/3 . Currently in 157th place in the rankings, Alboran will face the winner of the duel between Belgian David Goffin, who also missed the qualification, and Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech.

Another seed who debuted in the tournament was Italian Flavio Cobolli, eighth seed, who had no problem beating Jordanian guest Abdullah Shelbayh 6/1 and 6/4. He faces Russian Pavel Kotov in the second phase, who defeated host Elliot Benchetrit on Monday with scores of 7/5 and 6/3.

Completing the day’s round, Indian Sumit Nagal overtook Frenchman Corentin Moutet with a 4/6, 6/3 and 6/2 turnaround, guaranteeing a place to challenge Italian 4th seed Lorenzo Sonego. Australian Aleksandar Vukic beat Frenchman Alexandre Muller 6/3 and 7/6 (7-5) and will face the second main contender for the title, Austrian Sebastian Ofner. In turn, the Spanish Roberto Carballes Baena, current champion of the tournament, began his title defense with the withdrawal of the Italian qualifier Matteo Gigante when he was winning 6/2 and 2/0. Baena will now face the British Daniel Evans, third pre-classified.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Berrettini wins ATP match months Wawrinka advances



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