Berrettini Knocks Out Thiem For First Masters SF
Italy's Matteo Berrettini slid into the eighth and final Nitto ATP Finals qualification spot on Friday with a gritty 7-6(8), 6-4 victory against No. 5 Dominic Thiem. The win marks Berrettini's second Top 5 win (Zverev, Rome 2019) and his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final.
The 23-year-old Italian saved all three break points and improved to 33-9 since suffering a five-match losing streak on 14 April. Berrettini, the winner of two ATP Tour titles this season (Budapest, Gstaad), will next meet Germany's Alexander Zverev, who beat two-time champion Roger Federer 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-3 to make his first Masters 1000 semi-final since 2018 Shanghai.
Berrettini added 180 points to his ATP Race To London tally (2,525), 40 points ahead of ninth-placed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, whom the Italian beat in the Shanghai third round.
Berrettini could knock out another London rival in his semi-final. Zverev, the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion, is currently in seventh place in the Race, with 2,615 points.
Thiem beat Berrettini in June en route to his second Roland Garros final. But on the quick Shanghai courts, Berrettini's power, particularly his mammoth forehand, was too much to contend with for Thiem, who had won his past seven consecutive matches, dating back to his China Open title on Sunday in Beijing.
Berretini converted his fourth set point in the 18-point tie-break and broke Thiem in the seventh game of the second set before serving it out.