ATP

Berrettini, Tsitsipas and Auger-Aliassime target 2022 ATP title hat-tricks

By Sports Desk October 22, 2022

Matteo Berrettini is set to tackle Davis Cup team-mate Lorenzo Musetti in an all-Italian Napoli Cup final on Sunday after defying advice to pull out with a foot injury.

Former Wimbledon runner-up Berrettini beat American Mackenzie McDonald 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 at the hard court event, while Musetti came through 6-3 6-4 against Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

Providing Berrettini is healthy to participate in the final, the tournament looks set to deliver a crowd-pleasing trophy match, but it was touch and go whether the Rome native would get through the McDonald match.

"I don't even know how I did it," Berrettini said. "I wasn't feeling very good. I asked for the physio because my foot was hurting. It happened so many times in my career that I had to fight through so many things, not just thinking about the tennis ball."

He added, quoted by the ATP: "I didn't want to retire. My team told me, 'I think you should stop'. But I tried and I found a way."

Berrettini and Musetti have never gone head-to-head before. Berrettini has won two titles this year, both on grass, in Stuttgart and at London's Queen's Club, while 20-year-old Musetti scooped his maiden ATP title on clay in Hamburg.

At the European Open in Antwerp, Sunday's final will see American Sebastian Korda tackle Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, in a battle of two in-form players.

Korda was runner-up last week in Gijon, while Auger-Aliassime took the title in Florence, adding to his Rotterdam triumph from February.

Korda wrestled his way past a recently resurgent Dominic Thiem, scraping a 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) victory, before Auger-Aliassime was given a mighty battle by veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet, winning through in two tight sets, 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-3) his margin.

Like Berrettini and Auger-Aliassime, Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas has a third title of the year in his sights this weekend.

Tsitsipas swept through to the final of the Stockholm Open with a 6-2 6-2 win over Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori, setting up a clash with 19-year-old Danish player Holger Rune.

For Rune, there was no such straightforward path into the final as Alex de Minaur pushed him all the way, with the Australian eventually edged out 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 after two hours and 50 minutes.

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