After a week full of chaos and bedlam, the ATP Napoli Tennis Cup reaches its conclusion on Sunday. And fittingly, the top two Italians in men’s tennis will vie to lift the title. Will it be Matteo Berrettini who lays his hands on his third title of the season? Or will it be Lorenzo Musetti who upsets the apple cart and walks away with his second career title?
ATP Napoli Final Prediction
Matteo Berrettini vs Lorenzo Musetti
Head-to-head: first meeting
Matteo Berrettini will contest his third final of 2022 and surprisingly his very first on hard courts. Incidentally, this is also the first time he is appearing in an ATP final on home territory, with his previous best showing coming in Rome when he made the last eight in 2020.
Last week, Berrettini fell to a shock defeat against Carballes Baena in Florence. But he turned up the heat in Naples and avenged that defeat against the Spanish clay-court specialist in their round-of-16 rematch. He proceeded to dominate Taro Daniel in the quarterfinals, winning 6-2 6-3 and without facing a break point. But the semifinal encounter against Mackenzie McDonald looked to be slipping away from his grasp when he found himself trailing by a set. Berrettini landed a meager 38% first serves in a shambolic opening stanza. But the numbers improved immeasurably in the second and third sets, averaging over 60%. After restoring parity in the second-set tiebreak, the second seed did not drop serve in the decider as he romped to victory.
Lorenzo Musetti, meanwhile, advanced into his second ATP final of the season with a deserved win over Miomir Kecmanovic. Having twice fallen in the semifinal stage at his last two tournaments, the 20-year-old conjured up his best tennis against the Serbian in one pressure moment after another with poise. Can he emulate that performance against his compatriot on Sunday?
Musetti laid down a blueprint for the kind of tennis he will need to play against Berrettini. Serving big even with his back against the wall. He has only dropped serve once in three matches and is yet to lose a set. Musetti will also need to be aggressive and efficient in his break-point conversion. Against Kecmanovic, he manufactured as many as 10 break points and converted three. While chances will be at a premium against the Berrettini serve, he will certainly look to take the ball early and test his countryman’s movement. Berrettini’s foot blister will be on the back of his mind and this could very well be Musetti’s moment of potentially dethroning Berrettini as Italy’s top-ranked player.
Prediction: Musetti in 3