Matteo Berrettini extended his winning run to eight matches on Saturday when he dispatched Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4, 6-3 to reach the Cinch Championships final for a second consecutive year.
In a rain-disrupted clash, the Italian overpowered van de Zandschulp with his heavy forehand, while also causing the Dutchman problems with his fierce backhand slice to advance after one hour and 31 minutes.
“It was a really tough match. We stopped for the rain. I had a lot of chances. It was windy again and really tough to play but I definitely think it was the best match of the week, so I am really happy and looking forward to the final,” Berrettini said in his on-court interview.
The World No. 10, who has won 19 of his past 20 grass-court matches, will face either seventh seed Marin Cilic or Serbian Filip Krajinovic in the championship match on Sunday as he aims to retain his title at The Queen’s Club.
Berrettini has not put a foot wrong since he returned to Tour last week following three months out. The 26-year-old soared to the title in Stuttgart and has dropped just one set in London to move to within one win of clinching his seventh tour-level crown and fourth on grass.
In a lively encounter, Berrettini struck first as he converted on his eighth break point in a mammoth sixth game to move 4-2 ahead. The Italian failed to serve out the set at 5-3, but immediately responded by increasing his depth on return to break again and win the set.
Play was suspended midway through the second set, but upon resumption, Berrettini struck immediately, breaking for a 4-2 lead. From there he held his nerve to improve to 2-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against van de Zandschulp.
Van de Zandschulp defeated Paul Jubb, Grigor Dimitrov and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in London to become the first Dutchman to advance to the semi-finals at the ATP 500 event since Sjeng Schalken and Raemon Sluiter in 2022.
Then 26-year-old, who was aiming to capture his maiden tour-level title this weekend, is up to No. 26 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his run on debut at The Queen’s Club.