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Brutal Berrettini outguns Ruud to reach first Masters 1000 final

The big-hitting Italian will face Alexander Zverev in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday

Matteo Berrettini Matteo Berrettini
  • What happened? Matteo Berrettini beat Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-4 to reach the Mutua Madrid Open final.
  • Why it matters: Italian reaches first Masters 1000 final with powerful performance.
  • What next? Berrettini will take on Alexander Zverev in the final on Sunday.

Madrid Open: Draw | Order of Play | News

When the momentum is with you, just let it ride.

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini extended his winning streak to 10 matches as he ended the title hopes of Casper Ruud in Madrid on Saturday, his 6-4, 6-4 victory taking him into the final of the Mutua Madrid Open.

The winner in Belgrade last time out, the Italian served brilliantly and overpowered Ruud with his bludgeoning forehand to set up a final against Alexander Zverev, who ousted Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4 in the first semi-final earlier on Saturday.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Berrettini, who is just the third Italian man ever to make a Masters 1000 final. “After Monte-Carlo I was not feeling great but I won Belgrade and now I’m in the final here, I’m really looking forward to playing Sascha in the final. It’s a good moment for me.” My serve is my weapon but I think I was really aggressive today too (on returns).

Berrettini untouchable on serve

Ruud was appearing in his third straight clay-court Masters 1000 semi-final but right from the start, the Norwegian was on the back foot as Berrettini served almost flawlessly.

He dropped just five points on serve in the opening set (and eight in the entire match), with one break in the ninth game enough to put him in charge.

Italian maintains focus to reach final

Ruud continued to battle but the power of the Berrettini serve and the might of his forehand, mixed with some sharp slices on the backhand side, meant that the Norwegian had no chance to get a foothold in any of the Italian’s service games.

The relentless pressure on the Norwegian told in the seventh game when Berrettini unleashed two massive forehands to break serve and though Ruud saved a match point on his own serve, Berrettini would not be denied and served out to love take his place in the final.

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