Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini made it back onto court after nearly three months of injury time, with the Italian taking two hours to defeat Radu Albot 6-2,4-6, 6-3 on Wednesday at the ATP Stuttgart event.
The second seed underwent a medical procedure on his right hand and last competed on March 16 in Indian Wells.
The No. 10 is in a race to regain match form in time for Wimbledon which starts on June 27.
His ranking could be in danger with winner’s points from last summer at Queen’s Club and his All England Club final against Novak Djokovic also due to drop off.
“I’m happy to be back, I knew it would be a tough match,” the winner said. “It is always tough to come back and find the rhythm and the mindset.
“But getting the win was the goal and I’m happy to be in the quarters.”
The Rome-born Italian No. 1 who claimed the title here in his debut appearance here in 2019, said he expects “my muscles to hurt a lot.”
“This was probably my toughest match of the year, I need to play more of them.
“No matter how much you train, matches are always different. Mentally, I was not there for every point.
“For most of us this is our first week on grass and we are still not playing our best tennis.”
Main photo:- Matteo Berrettini winning Wimbledon Semi-final last year – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd