Matteo Berrettini says he is expecting a very tough match against Alexander Zverev in his first Masters level final.
Berrettini beat Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-final on Saturday to power the big-hitting Italian into a showdown with Zverev for the title.
Zverev, though, goes into the final after beating both Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem without dropping a set, and Berrettini knows he will have to be at his best to beat the German.
“I saw him, he’s playing really good,” Berrettini said of final opponent Zverev. “He’s solid. He moves well. For his height, he’s really good. He serves well.
“I mean, he’s in the final. He beat Rafa [Nadal] and Dominic [Thiem], probably the best players on clay,” Berrettini said.
“It’s going to be a challenging match, but I’m in the finals. I guess the best two guys are going to play each other.”
Berrettini was made to work for his place in the final, with world number 22 Ruud competitive throughout.
“My serve is my weapon, but today I think I returned a lot and I put pressure on him,” Berrettini said.
“I was just playing more aggressive. He (Ruud) is kind of like me, he likes to run around the forehand and play with spin. But I guess today I was playing better than him.
“The other time he beat me, so it’s always a great fight against him. He [reached] three semi-finals in a row [also Monte-Carlo and Munich] so he was feeling confident.
“I guess that’s why I’m maybe even more happy with my win today.”
Berrettini will climb above Diego Schwartzman to ninth in the world rankings on Monday.
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