Matteo Berrettini was forced to retire through injury, leaving his participation in the 2021 ATP Finals in doubt as Sascha Zverev won 7-6 (7), 1-0 in Turin.
Zverev edged a first set tie-break over Berrettini before the Italian suffered an abdomen injury in the second game of the second set. He received treatment in an effort to continue, but was clearly unable to.
It brought to an end a match that was nicely poised between two players operating at the top of their game with the Italian support in Turin, hosting the year-end event for the first time, particularly disappointed.
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Berrettini found his serve under pressure on a number of occasions in the first set, but kept Zverev honest through good use of his forehand which allowed him to dictate points from the back of the court.
However, Berrettini, who received the vociferous support of the home crowd, had two set points at 5-6. One saw Zverev send a serve long, but it wasn’t spotted by the line judges and Berrettini failed to challenge as the first set went into a tie-break.
A sensational passing winner looked to have given Berrettini the initiative at 4-2 in the tie-break, but Zverev clinched a third set point to edge a 79-minute opening set.
The second set started in the same vein with Berrettini under pressure at 40-40 in the second service game when he appeared to strain an abdominal muscle which meant he couldn’t continue.
If Berrettini can’t play his next match, fellow Italian Jannik Sinner will come in as first alternate to face Hubert Hurkacz on Tuesday and Daniil Medvedev on Thursday.
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