After an intense few weekends of tennis down in Nice and the Mouratoglou Academy it came down to two of the tours most exciting young talents in Matteo Berrettini and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Stefanos started well in the first quarter and won 6 of the first 9 points. Matteo for already the second time in the opening minutes was not impressed with some of the line calling but the Italian turned it around and found a 14-11 lead.
With just a minute to go the two were levelled at 14-14 in the opening quarter and the powerful Italian showed his great movement at the back of the court to take the lead. The lead quickly went and at 15-15 it became a deadlock set and a forehand error from Tsitsipas sealed the set 16-15 for Matteo.
Stefanos Tsitsipas came into the final with 9 wins and 1 defeat so a lead against the Greek doesn’t mean too much. 6 minutes and 14 points into the second quarter and Tsitsipas took a 10-4 lead.
The lead quickly dissappeared and with 137 seconds left on the clock and a coaching time-out for Stefanos as he was pulled back to 10-10.
Following his appearance at the tour finals last November, one thing you’d ask for some Matteo is more bite behind the backhand and he picked off Stefanos to edge ahead 13-11 with less than 30 seconds remaining.
It became a panic from Stefanos who flung the backhand long and was from 10-4 up lost the quarter 15-12.
Earlier on in the event Stefanos did come back from two quarters down against Berrettini but could he in the final? Tsitsipas talking to the commentators at the change over said he’d need a miracle…
The intensity in a crucial third quarter was ramped up.
At 5-4 the Italian was continuing to create but a few errors brought Tsitsipas a lifeline and at 5-5 for just under 6 minutes left he took a coaching time-out to speak to his Dad.
Big points at big moments and a slam dunk winner from Tsitsipas edged himself to a 8-6 lead but could he keep it having squandered leads in previous quarters?
10-8 to Stefanos and Berrettini looked in disgust following a volley right into the net and fell 8-11 down.
A theme of the match for Tsitsipas was a loose backhand and with just 90 seconds on the clocked was pulled back to 11-11.
What a time to find the best backhand pass of the day!! 12-12 with 17 seconds to go and Tsitsipas took a 13-12 lead.
Berrettini had served superbly all game and when he needed a point to take it into a deciding point double faulted and Tsitsipas took the third quarter 14-12. Comeback, on?
Berrettini was soo close to victory but as is this format so intense and unpredictable and found himself 6-2 down after four minutes of the ten in the fourth quarter.
Two minutes remained and Berrettini slipped further behind in the fourth quarter to 5-12 and needing a miracle to salvage the quarter.
Pure dominance from Stefanos who from two quarters down level at two each taking the fourth 15-8 on a double fault and into sudden death!
Two points in a row wins!!!
ACE – Tsitsipas! MATCH POINT!
Backhand into the net from Tsitsipas, match point Matteo!
Big serve, match point saved! Match point, Stefanos!
Net cord survival from Berrettini who saves match point perfectly at the net!
OMG! A STUNNING FOREHAND PASS WINNER FROM BERRETTINI!! He wins the UTS!!