Depending on perspective, this final at the ATP Stuttgart Open could be a big surprise or an obvious result. Murray is a decorated Wimbledon champion with an incredible career and has always played well on grass courts. Bettettini made the Wimbledon final last year and his huge forehand is a real weapon on grass. However, he has not played since Indian Wells in March due to an injury so this is his first tournament back. Murray is not, and likely never will be, 100% fit due to several hip surgeries, and after a final in Sydney to start the year, he had not made a semifinal since at tour-level.
ATP Stuttgart Final Prediction
Andy Murray vs Matteo Berrettini
This is a rematch of the second round of the Queen’s Club event last year, won in straight sets by Berrettini who would go on to win the title. The two play different styles of tennis and that clash may be part of the key to the match. Berrettini uses his big serve to overpower opponents, and has been broken just twice in three matches, while facing zero break points in his semfinal match. His large forehand is also difficult to handle on the quick grass courts. Murray is an elite defender who uses excellent baseline shotmaking to confuse and frustrate his opponents. While his physicality has been tough to maintain at his age and with his past injuries, he has looked like his former self this week, winning all eight sets he has played.
Either player could win the match with a well-executed gameplan and playing to top form. Berrettini struggled in his first couple of matches, but has seemed to get better as the tournament continued. Murray has played well in a tough draw, but Berrettini while lower-ranked is much better on grass than Tsitipas and has a stronger mental game than Kyrgios, Murray’s last two victims. Berrettini will have to overpower Murray and prevent his lobs and tight angles he manages from the baseline. Berrettini will do enough to hold serve and force Murray into aggressive shots to try to beat him. Murray will not have quite enough to get through Berrettini’s power, and the Italian will take a close three-setter to win another grass court title.
Prediction: Berrettini in 3
Main Photo from Getty.