World No. 14 Matteo Berrettini of Italy beat world No. 29 Borna Coric of Croatia 6-7 6-2 6-1 to ensure Italy’s win the second rubber against Croatia in a Davis Cup tie in Turin on Wednesday. Italy later ensured a 3-2 win over the Croats as Fabio Fognini won the decisive rubber.
Italy thus moved into the World Group quarterfinals of the Davis Cup for the first time in 15 years. On that note, let’s take a look at three things which stood out in Berrettini’s win over Coric:
Matteo Berrettini def. Borna Coric
#1 Coric won a close first set through a tie-break:
Both players held their serve in the majority of games in the first set. They shared a break apiece as the first set went into a tie-break. Coric then raced to a 6-1 lead in the tie-break as Berrettini seemed to find it difficult to hold his own under pressure.
However, the 26-year-old Italian then won three straight points to reduce the deficit to 4-6, but then committed a double fault to hand the Croat a win in the first set. Coric tried to exploit Berrettini’s backhand repeatedly as the latter kept playing backhand slices to take the pace off the ball. However, Coric managed to outperform his opponent in the tie-break to draw the first blood.
#2 Berrettini bounced back to win the second set:
Berrettini then fought back very well in the second set. He broke Coric in the second game of the second set to go 2-0 up and then got another break to win the set convincingly. Berrettini was more aggressive in his approach in the second set and went around his backhand often to play inside-out forehands.
The Italian’s powerful forehand kept Coric under constant pressure and Berrettini also rushed the net frequently to make things worse for his opponent. However, Coric’s tendency to commit unforced errors helped Berrettini’s cause as the Croat committed 12 unforced errors and hit only three winners in the second set.
#3 Berrettini walked away with the third set to help his team win the Davis Cup tie:
Berrettini continued his good run in the third and final set as well and broke Coric twice to assert his supremacy. Coric could not break Berrettini even once during the last two sets as the Italian kept moving his opponent from side to side to outplay him.
Coric’s first serve ratio was a modest 57% against Berrettini’s 67%. Both players fired 13 aces, but the Italian won 78% of the points on his first serve against Coric’s 66%. The Italian also hit 34 winners against Coric’s 15 and committed 27 unforced errors against Coric’s 33.
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