Berrettini Hits 47 Winners To Begin Wimbledon Bid
It wasn't always easy for Berrettini, who two weeks ago became the first cinch Championships debutant to lift the trophy at The Queen’s Club since Boris Becker in 1985.
“[My level of confidence was] definitely something that helped me today when things got a little bit complicated,” said Berrettini. “Sometimes you win also with the confidence that you feel in yourself. Today, especially in the third set, I used that as a weapon to overtake him.
“I know that I have the level [to go far]. I have the weapons. Also, the mental mindset to get there. But every match is a fight, every match is really difficult. I have to go step-by-step now.”
The 25-year-old struck 47 winners, including 20 aces, and won 45 of 54 first-service points against Pella on No. 3 Court to set up a second-round clash against Dutch lucky loser Botic Van De Zandschulp.
Berrettini clinched the first break of the match with a backhand pass in the fifth game, then secured the 37-minute opener with his seventh ace. But Pella responded by mixing up his service placement and gained a 3-2 lead in the second set with a volley winner at close quarters.
Once Berrettini struck a backhand past Pella at the net to take the third set, the Italian ran through the 24-minute fourth set for the loss of 10 points.
Berrettini, who also captured the Serbia Open title in Belgrade (d. Karatsev) and reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Zverev), is now 27-6 on the 2021 season. He is currently in seventh position in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin for a place at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held from 14-21 November.
Van De Zandschulp hit 52 winners for his second Grand Slam match win. The 25-year-old beat French qualifier Gregoire Barrere 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-1, 7-6(3) in two hours and 40 minutes.
Berrettini's compatriot, 26th seed Fabio Fognini, knocked out Laslo Djere of Serbia 6-3, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 later on Wednesday for a place in the third round. Fognini will next face fifth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev, who was a 6-1, 6-2, 7-5 victor over Lloyd Harris of South Africa.
Elsewhere, Jordan Thompson broke a four-match losing streak at the All England Club to reached the second round for the first time. The 27-year-old Australian knocked out 12th seed Casper Ruud of Norway 7-6(6), 7-6(3), 2-6, 2-6, 6-2 in four hours and three minutes. He will next challenge former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori in the second round.