Berrettini Sprints Into Second Round At Australian Open
Matteo Berrettini wasted no time getting down to business on Monday at the Australian Open. The eighth-seeded Italian eased past Aussie wild card Andrew Harris 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in their opening-round clash.
"It’s always tough because my last official match was in November. I figured out how to play my best tennis, so I’m really happy with my performance,” Berrettini said. “Like always, I’m going round by round… I’m happy that I’m healthy and playing well.”
Harris received the opportunity to play his debut Grand Slam main draw after climbing nearly 200 spots last year in the FedEx ATP Rankings. But the World No. 162 had never played a tour-level main draw or a Top 10 player, and the jump proved too much for the understandably nervous 25-year-old.
Berrettini dominated their baseline exchanges in Melbourne Arena, converting five of nine break points and hammering 38 winners. A big forehand on match point wrapped up the victory after one hour and 55 minutes.
The quick win gave Berrettini his first win of the season and first career victory in Melbourne. The man voted as Most Improved Player of the Year in the 2019 ATP Awards will next face American Tennys Sandgren or Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti.
Argentine Guido Pella, the No. 22 seed, won 75 per cent of his service points (63/84) to secure a comfortable 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Aussie wild card John-Patrick Smith. The 29-year-old is match tough after helping guide Argentina to a quarter-final finish two weeks ago at the ATP Cup. Pella will look forward to a second-round clash with Frenchman Gregoire Barrere, who outlasted Egyptian qualifier Mohamed Safwat 6-7(8), 7-6(1), 6-4, 7-6(5).
American Sam Querrey scored the first upset of the tournament with a convincing 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win against No. 25 seed Borna Coric of Croatia. Querrey played a near-flawless match and hit almost double the amount of winners to unforced errors (36 to 19).
Next up for Querrey is Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, who cruised through Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. Querrey leads their ATP Head2Head 2-0, but they haven't met in seven years.