May 27, 2019
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Berrettini beats Zverev in Italian Open 2nd round

Rome, May 14 (efe-epa).- Matteo Berrettini pulled off a big win at the Italian Open on Tuesday by knocking out 2017 champion Alexander Zverev 7-5, 7-5.

Zverev, who has yet to win a title in 2019, did not have answers for Berrettini's powerful shots, the Italian player is in top form, having won in Budapest at the Hungarian Open a couple of weeks ago.

The German player, ranked No. 5 in the world, has struggled for consistency after ending last season on a high note by winning his maiden ATP Finals title.

He was hoping to reach the final as he did in 2018 when he lost to Spaniard Rafael Nadal.

However, unseeded Berrettini made short work of the fourth seed after one hour and 48 minutes of play, getting revenge for his defeat at the same stage a year ago and earning his first win over a top-10 player.

On the Foro Italico's central court, Berrettini was solid on serve and was aggressive in his return games against a player who committed 28 unforced errors.

Berrettini needed three match points to seal the win, adding to Zverev's woes, as the German player lost the Madrid Open quarterfinals to Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas, who went on to the final, defeating Nadal in the process, but then Tsitsipas lost to Serbia's Novak Djokovic.

A week earlier, Zverev also lost to Cristian Garin of Chile in the quarterfinal of the Bavarian International.

Next up for Berrettini will be the winner of the match that is to pit Diego Schwartzman of Argentina against Spain's Albert Ramos.

In another second round of action, Marin Cilic of Croatia, world no. 10, prevailed over wild card Andrea Basso of Italy 6-1, 7-5.

Cilic, who was forced to withdraw from a Madrid Open quarterfinal clash against Djokovic due to gastroenteritis a week earlier, needed one hour and 38 minutes to defeat Basso in their first career match.

The 2014 US Open champion, who made the 2018 Italian Open semifinal, will square off against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany, who defeated Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov, a former top-three player.

Struff managed to even his head-to-head record against Dimitrov, who is currently world No. 48, to 2-2, getting revenge for his loss to the Bulgarian at Monte Carlo's round of 32.

Russia's rising star Karen Khachanov, meanwhile, had to rally from a one-set deficit to earn a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win over Roberto Bautista of Spain.

The 22-year-old Khachanov needed two hours and 29 minutes to book a place in the third round, where he is scheduled to play either seeded No. 5 Dominic Thiem of Austria or Spain's Fernando Verdasco. EFE

am/ta/sdh/rb

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