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Matteo Berrettini is the fifth Italian to reach the Rome quarter-finals since 2000.

Berrettini Digs Deep To Reach Rome Quarter-finals

Two tie-breaks needed in scrappy all-Italian contest

Matteo Berrettini became the fifth Italian since 2000 to reach the Inernazionali BNL d’Italia quarter-finals on Friday. The World No. 8 needed to dig deep to beat compatriot and wild card Stefano Travaglia 7-6(5), 7-6(1) in two hours and two minutes on Centrale at the Foro Italico.

The 24-year-old will now contest his second ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final (also 2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters) against Norway's Casper Ruud on Saturday.

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Berrettini started with confidence, but Travaglia soon recovered an early break to win three straight games. Errors and a lapse in concentration gave Berrettini a 3/0 advantage in the tie-break, and while Travaglia worked hard to stay in touch, terrific defence in the sun by Berrettini helped the World No. 8 to the 60-minute opener, which ended with a powerful backhand.

Berrettini took a rather fortuitous 5-3 lead in the second set, after a slice backhand clipped the top of the net and gave Travaglia little chance to scramble up. But Travaglia bounced back immediately when deep returning saw the World No. 84 recover to 4-5.

Berrettini ran around his backhand to strike a forehand in the net on his first match point at 6-5, with Travaglia serving at 30/40. But in the tie-break, it was all Berrettini, who hit 11 of his 17 winners in the match off his forehand wing.

It was their first tour-level meeting, after Travaglia had won each of their previous three matches at Italian ITF Futures events in 2015 and 2016.

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Casper Ruud followed in his father’s footsteps on Friday afternoon by reaching an ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final with a 6-2, 7-6(6) win over Marin Cilic, the 2018 semi-finalist, in one hour and 33 minutes. Christian Ruud advanced to the 1997 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters quarter-finals.

Ruud took a 3-0 lead in his first ATP Head2Head meeting against Cilic and broke for a second time in the eighth game of the first set. Cilic saved two match points from 4/6 in the second-set tie-break, with a powerful forehand approach and a deep forehand return that Ruud couldn’t control. Ruud converted his third opportunity at 7/6 when Cilic overhit a forehand, one of 30 unforced errors for the Croatian.

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