Gstaad (Switzerland), July 22 (IANS) Italy’s Matteo Berrettini came back from the brink of defeat at the Swiss Open here on Friday, rallying past fifth seed Pedro Martinez 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 to reach the semifinals and extend his winning streak to 11 matches.
He also set up a clash with Austrian Dominic Thiem in the semifinals.
The Italian Berrettini survived a scare in the second-set tie-break, trailing 1/5 after losing the first set. However, the second seed found his full range just in time, reeling off six consecutive points to clinch the set, before he raced away in the third set to advance after two hours and 16 minutes.
“Sometimes it is just tennis. It is a crazy sport. At 1/5 I thought I was done. Then I played two good points and it was 3/5 and I thought ‘let’s try’,” Berrettini said in his on-court interview.
“I don’t think I played my best match here. But sometimes it is important to win when you are not playing well. I managed to find some energy inside me and I am really happy to be through,” he was quoted as saying in a report on the ATP Tour website.
The 26-year-old will next play Thiem after the former World No. 3 continued to gather momentum with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Peruvian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas. Berrettini leads Thiem 3-2 in their ATP head-to-head series.
“Dominic has had an unbelievable career,” Berrettini said of his next-round opponent. “He is a Slam champion and he got injured, but he is coming back. I saw some of him today and his level is coming back, so it is going to be a tough match. We always play great matches, so tomorrow will be a good one.”
Berrettini, who missed Wimbledon due to Covid, overcame Richard Gasquet in his opening match at the ATP 250 clay-court event to earn victory on his return to Tour. He lifted trophies on the grass in Stuttgart and London in June after missing the spring clay swing in Europe due to a right-hand injury.
The 26-year-old is making his second appearance in Gstaad, having not dropped a set en route to the title in 2018.