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Berrettini keeps title defense alive at Queen’s Club

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LONDON. Defending champion Matteo Berrettini kept heading for two consecutive grass court titles as he bounced back from a set to beat lucky loser Denis Kudla to reach the quarter-finals of the Royal Club on Thursday.

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Berrettini won 3-6, 7-5 (5), 6-4 and will be one of the two seeded players in the quarterfinals.

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The Italian runner-up, who beat Andy Murray in the Stuttgart final on Sunday, only recently returned from a three-month hiatus with a hand injury and languidly landed shots from the ground throughout a tough match in mild conditions in west London.

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Berrettini’s blistering serve that took him to the Wimbledon final last year eventually bailed him out after 82nd-place Kudla won the first set without a break point.

Three aces from Berrettini helped him win a tie-break in the second set, after which he called the coach.

Berrettini made a 3-2 break in the third set, immediately broke himself, then took advantage of an unforced error at the gate of Kudla, an American of Ukrainian origin, and again made a 5-4 break.

The Italian kept a break point in the next game, during which he sent a pitch at 140 miles per hour (225 mph) and won the match on his first try, winning a backhand.

Berrettini, who had 22 aces and 33 unforced errors, beat Cameron Norrie in last year’s Wimbledon warm-up final and has now won 17 of his last 18 matches on grass. Norrie is one of six — out of eight — seeded players already eliminated before the end of the second round.

No. 7 Marin Cilic is the only other seeded player.

Berrettini’s next opponent will be Tommy Paul, who beat three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 earlier on Thursday. Paul beat No. 6 seed Denis Shapovalov in the first round.

Serbian Filip Krajinovic also advanced to the quarterfinals, beating 2010 champion Sam Querrey 4:6, 6:3, 6:4, and Briton Ryan Peniston, who received a wild card, won 6:0, 4:6, 6: four. against Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina.



Source: sports.nbcsports.com

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