Italy’s Matteo Berrettini profited from the upset absence of homeboy Novak Djokovic, with the second seed securing the title at the ATP event in Belgrade run by the Serb’s family.
The second seed did not waste his opportunity, collecting his fourth career title with a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(0) defeat of the outsider who knocked Djokovic out in the semi-finals at his own event.
Russian Aslan Karatsev went down a day after his upset of the top seeded Serb, whose immediate clay future seems in doubt.
After his home humiliation, Djokovic said he was unsure about whether to play in the prestige Madrid Masters which begins at the weekend.
Berrettini needed two and a half hours to tame Karatsev, who played a February Australian Open final after starting as a qualifier.
The 10th-ranked winner of the 250 tournament aced nine times compared to one for his opponent.
Berrettini was competing in his first ATP final since winning Stuttgart over Felix Auger-Aliassime in June, 2019.
“This title is for my family, this is the first time that they are actually here to see me win the trophy even though it’s my fourth one,” Berrettini said.
“This is a special one. We came a long way since I was a kid and they were bringing me everywhere..
“They deserve to see this kind of tennis and this kind of level. I really love them.”
The Italian was back on court for only his second event since the Australian Open after dealing with an abdominal injury.
“I came here not with the best feelings, coming back from an injury,” he said.
“It’s never easy to come back and play this kind of level, this kind of tennis.”
Main photo:- Matteo Berrettini with Serbia Open Trophy by ATPTour.com