Matteo Berrettini retains the title of queen to join the elite list | Tennis News

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Italy’s Matteo Berrettini has signaled his intention to mount another tough challenge at Wimbledon after joining an elite group of players in retaining his ATP Queen’s Club title on Sunday. Berrettini defeated Serbian Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-4 in the Wimbledon warm-up final. He will now aim to do better at Wimbledon, the only one of tennis’ four major tournaments still played on grass, after losing to Novak Djokovic in last year’s final.

Berrettini’s win meant he joined John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray as the only Open-era players to win back-to-back Queen’s titles.

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The world number 10 has been in superb form on the grass this season after returning from hand surgery.

Berrettini, 26, has now won back-to-back tournaments, having beaten Murray in Stuttgart last weekend, and Sunday’s success boosted his confidence just eight days from the start of Wimbledon.

Krajinovic, who had never won a match on grass before this week, was the first player in Sunday’s final to lose serve.

But the world No. 48 came back commendably level 3-3.

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Berrettini, however, took the lead at 6-5 and then held serve to win the first set.

Krajinovic’s chance had passed and Berettini broke midway through the second set before ending the match with an ace.

“There are too many emotions,” Berrettini said shortly after his latest victory. “The last thing I expected after surgery was to win two titles in a row and defend my title here. I just can’t believe it.

“Every time I walk down the halls here and see all the names of champions from the past, and now knowing it’s me, twice, on the same wall gives me goosebumps.”

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Krajinovic, meanwhile, was buoyed by a performance that gave him hope of improving on a dismal record at Wimbledon, where he suffered four first-round defeats.

“It’s been an amazing, very emotional last 10 days to be in my first grass-court final,” he said.

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“Just before this tournament, I had never won a match on grass and I hated playing on grass. But now I feel that I want to play more and more.”

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