Richard Gasquet vs Matteo Berrettini - Ultimate Tennis Showdown Preview and Prediction
The exciting Ultimate Tennis showdown reaches its crescendo with a scintillating semifinal between Richard Gasquet and Matteo Berrettini today.
The Frenchman has been in superb form throughout the tournament. With just two losses, Gasquet has adapted to the quick format effectively.
He qualified for the knock-outs after a tight win against Feliciano Lopez last week. The match was an absolute cracker as both players battled hard splitting the first four quarters. Despite committing 16 unforced errors, Gasquet held his nerve winning in sudden death in the fifth quarter.
In his last encounter, the veteran hardly showed any complacency against compatriot Benoit Paire. Despite a minor blip in the second quarter, he recouped quickly using his steal serve cards to perfection winning in four quarters.
On the other hand, Berrettini has brought his A-level game at the right moments. In his last match, he gave a royal thrashing to the youngster, Alexei Popyrin winning all four quarters. Despite a low first-serve percentage, the Italian has been troubling his opponents through his big serve. It has been a huge weapon enabling him to finish off points quickly.
The World number 8 also got more match practice playing in Dominic Thiem's exhibition tournament in Kitzbuhel. He defeated the likes of Dennis Novak, and Roberto Bautista Agut before losing to Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev in straight sets. Though there was a difference in surfaces between the two tournaments, Berrettini should be battle-ready.
Strengths of Gasquet
A blistering backhand, capacity to win the big points, and ability to hit consistent winners are the Frenchman's strengths. He will also be looking for revenge against Berrettini having lost to him earlier without winning a single quarter in the group stage.
Strengths of Berrettini
Strong ground-strokes, a hard-hitting forehand and mental toughness are the Italian's biggest positives. He would look to hit the ground running with his powerful serves.
Both players will have to use their Steal Serve and x3 Winner cards sensibly to gain momentum in the crucial moments.
Prediction - Gasquet to win in four quarters
Featured image credits: tennismajors.com