Matteo Berrettini hammered a 19th ace for match point and finished off victory seconds later to beat Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 on Sunday and win the pre-Wimbledon Queen’s club title.
Local hopes were high when the 41st-ranked Norrie won a tiebreaker to take the contest into a final set; but the Italian struck back with a break for 5-3 before he efficiently served out to earn his second career title on grass after Stuttgart, 2019.
It marked a fifth ATP success for the 25-year-old Roman ranked ninth in the world.
Berrettini followed Boris Becker (1985) in winning the tournament in his debut edition.
“It’s been unbelievable this week,” the Italian said. “I dreamed as a kid of playing this tournament,
“Now I got the chance to lift the trophy, it’s like a dream coming true.
“Cam is a great player and showed that he can compete on all surfaces,” he said of the two-time clay finalist this spring
.”I knew I was serving well,” the winner said. “But that was important because Cam’s so dangerous. I knew I had to play my best.
“I think we put on a great final.”
Berrettini’s best at Wimbledon was the fourth round in 2019, the last edition that he played.
British No. 2 Norrie’s work this week earned him a Wimbledon seeding for the first time.
“All credit to Matteo,” the finalist said, “He was too good today, he played better than meon the big points.
“Being seeded at Wimbledon is very special. I’m disappointed to miss out on the title but I’ll keep pushing for more.”
The South Africa-born Brit gave a shout-out to his parents, presumably watching in their New Zealand home.
Norrie had been hoping to become only the second British champion here since World War II, after five-time winner Andy Murray. Bunny Austin won the home title in 1938.
Berrettini, who is 26-6 on the season to stand fifth in total wins, lost only one set all week.
He is the second Italian to claim the trophy here in the Open era after Laurence
Tieleman, who lost to Scott Draper in 1998 event as a 253rd-ranked qualifier.
Main photo:- Matteo Berrettini celebrates victory at Queens © ATPTour.com