It is safe to say Matteo Berrettini will remember his first appearance at The Queen’s Club.
The Italian star beat home favourite Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 on Sunday to become the first player to win the cinch Championships on debut since 17-year-old Boris Becker in 1985. The top seed did not face a break point in the final to triumph after one hour and 57 minutes.
The champion had previously claimed four ATP Tour trophies, but none had come above the ATP 250-level. This is the first ATP 500 triumph for the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals competitor.
Berrettini enjoyed an impressive run through the London field, lifting the trophy with the loss of just one set. The 25-year-old, who also defeated former World No. 1 Andy Murray, current British No. 1 Daniel Evans and fourth seed Alex de Minaur this week, is the first Italian in the Open Era to win this title.
The World No. 9 dominated on serve throughout the tournament, losing his serve just twice in four matches. Against Norrie, Berrettini blasted 19 aces to overcome the gritty World No. 41.
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The top seed had two opportunities to break in the second set, but Norrie played courageously and he did not lose a point in the tie-break to force a deciding set. The Briton also battled hard to stave off two more break points in the decider, but Berrettini broke through on his third opportunity of the set when Norrie missed a backhand into the net.
Norrie was trying to become the second British singles champion at Queen’s Club since World War II and lift his first ATP Tour trophy. This was the 25-year-old’s fourth tour-level final and his third of the season. Despite the loss, Norrie is third on the ATP Tour with 29 victories this year.