To challenge Matteo Berrettini in the last act of the 2021 ATP Queen's tournament, in London, will be one of the best versions of Cameron Norrie. The British defeated Denis Shapovalov with a score of 7-5, 6-3. The host showed all his tension early in the game and immediately lost his serve.
The counter break came in the sixth game, when Norrie took advantage of Shapovalov's first blank pass without hesitation. Both then held the service smoothly until 5-6; to grant the first opportunities to his opponent was the Canadian, who on the set point against the set point could not help but admire the magnificent backhand passer of his opponent.
In the second set, the two players bravely canceled all conceded break points, but once again Norrie broke Shapovalov's serve at the decisive moment. On the 3-4 and break point, the Canadian slipped during the exchange and left the left side of the field uncovered.
Norrie did not tremble in the last game at bat and became the first Briton after Andy Murray to reach the final at the Queen's since 2002. Matteo Berrettini, fresh from the quarter-finals reached at the Roland Garros, defeated Alex De Minaur with a score of 6-4, 6-4 and tomorrow will have the chance to lift his fifth career title to the sky.
For Berrettini this is the second final ever on grass; the first, won against Felix Auger-Aliassime, was played in 2019 in Stuttgart. In the first half of the game, the blue showed great solidity in serving; just think that he only lost one 15 in the first three batting rounds.
The Italian found the first break of the day in the third game by hitting an amazing backhand passer along the line. The Australian bravely nullified a dangerous break point at 3-1 and began to put more pressure on his opponent in response.
Berrettini, however, rejected the message to the sender both in the eighth and in the tenth game: in the first he recovered easily from 15-30, in the second he solved the partial to the advantages with a deadly forehand. In the second set, they both increased their service rounds and averted the dangers.
Berrettini earned his first opportunities in the sixth game, when he went up 0-40, but unfortunately he left the initiative to his opponent and missed a sensational chance. In the next game, the first break point came for De Minaur; this time Berrettini didn't tremble and bewitched the Australian with an ace.
The game that decided the match was definitely the ninth. Berrettini saw three break points canceled for the second time, but on the fourth occasion he pushed on De Minaur's slice, who sent the ball under the net in a bad way.
Berrettini will face one between Denis Shapovalov and Cameron Norrie in the final. Due to the rain that hit London yesterday afternoon, the Canadian was unable to finish his quarter-final and returned to the field this morning to finish the job.
One set ahead, Shapovalov missed several chances in return and never managed to score a backhand on numerous break points. The world number 14, after bravely nullifying three break points, finally surprised Frances Tiafoe on her seventh chance in the fifth game. Finally, Shapovalov was good at managing his batting turns carefully and closing at 6-4 with an exceptional ace.