Italy’s Matteo Berrettini on Sunday retained his Queen’s Club title by beating Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-4 in the final here, capturing his seventh tour-level trophy and fourth on grass.
In front of a packed crowd, the Italian produced an aggressive performance. He fired 14 aces and demonstrated great footwork to dictate on his forehand and become the first player in the Open Era to win titles in his first two appearances in London.
“There are so many emotions. The last thing I expected was to come back from surgery and win two titles in a row. Defend my title here at one of the most prestigious tournaments we have. I don’t want to cry. Most of the job is thanks to them, my team and my family. I just can’t believe it,” Berrettini said during the trophy ceremony.
The second seed Berrettini has now won his past nine matches and lifted two trophies since he returned to Tour last week following three months out due to a hand injury.
The 26-year-old produced a strong performance to down Andy Murray in the Stuttgart Open final last week and was equally as impressive against the Serbian Krajinovic to triumph at the ATP 500 event in one hour and 34 minutes.
Berrettini now leads the 30-year-old 3-0 in their ATP Head to Head series, while he has improved his record on grass to 32-6, having won 20 of his past 21 matches on the surface.
In a lively clash, breaks were exchanged in the middle of the first set as both players looked to find their rhythm on serve. Berrettini struck first when he planted a perfectly executed volley away to move ahead, but Krajinovic responded immediately as he broke back to level for 3-3.
However, the Italian stepped up the intensity and power in his groundstrokes at the end of the set to clinch the opener after 54 minutes.
Fuelled by confidence, the second seed continued to go on the attack in the second set. He won 86 per cent (12/14) of his first-serve points as he pushed Krajinovic deep behind the baseline and gained the decisive break in the fifth game, before he held his nerve on serve to secure the title.
Krajinovic had never won a tour-level match on grass before this week, but produced a string of accomplished displays to defeat Jenson Brooksby, Sam Querrey, Ryan Peniston and Marin Cilic to reach his fifth tour-level final.
“It has been an amazing past 10 days. Very emotional.For me the first final on grass. You guys (the crowd) helped me so much. I felt like I was playing at home. Also congrats to Berrettini, two finals I have lost against him now,” Krajinovic said during the trophy ceremony.