Matteo Berrettini became the fifth Italian since 2000 to reach the Inernazionali BNL d’Italia quarter-finals on Friday. The World No. 8 needed to dig deep to beat compatriot and wild card Stefano Travaglia 7-6(5), 7-6(1) in two hours and two minutes on Centrale at the Foro Italico.
The 24-year-old will now contest his second ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final (also 2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters) against Casper Ruud or Marin Cilic on Saturday.
Berrettini started with confidence, but Travaglia soon recovered an early break to win three straight games. Errors and a lapse in concentration gave Berrettini a 3/0 advantage in the tie-break, and while Travaglia worked hard to stay in touch, terrific defence in the sun by Berrettini helped the World No. 8 to the 60-minute opener, which ended with a powerful backhand.
Berrettini took a rather fortuitous 5-3 lead in the second set, after a slice backhand clipped the top of the net and gave Travaglia little chance to scramble up. But Travaglia bounced back immediately when deep returning saw the World No. 84 recover to 4-5.
Berrettini ran around his backhand to strike a forehand in the net on his first match point at 6-5, with Travaglia serving at 30/40. But in the tie-break, it was all Berrettini, who hit 11 of his 17 winners in the match off his forehand wing.
It was their first tour-level meeting, after Travaglia had won each of their previous three matches at Italian ITF Futures events in 2015 and 2016.