Round 16 time at the Vienna Open. Nikoloz Basilashvili reached his maiden Masters 1000 final in Indian Wells looking to continue the fine form in the season closing European hard court circuit. Berrettini needs little intro in 2021 surprising all and sundry to reach the final at Wimbledon this year. Matteo is known for his big serving but there is more to his game than that. His shot variation is also something to be noted. Watch 6-6(1-1) in the close first set during the breaker. The Italian shows here that he can slow thing down too, the drop shot wasn’t something I was expecting there and neither was Nikoloz. Nikoloz got the break from the net cord but I really thought Matteo should have done better on the volley. The thing in tennis is that you can play so well up to 6-6 without handing a thing to your opponent and still lose the set. Nikoloz did play well during the first set with his low flying ground strokes. He seemed to have run out of gas in the breaker, maybe the unexpected run in California starting to take its toll.
Now watch 5-2(30-30) in the second set, Nikoloz didn’t make much effort to go after the forehand down the line. Already down a break and fighting for his second set life he couldn’t afford to let another service game slip so this was particularly disappointing. Berrettini as expected was the best server of the two. A mind spinning 22 Aces in 3 sets plus winning 82% of the points on first serve shows how heavily reliant on it the Italian is. To get a look in you have to attack the SECOND SERVE of which he tends to slow it with the kicker. Nikoloz did that to an extent restricting Matteo to 59% win rate on it but not consistently enough. The baseline king was Berrettini too, watch third set 1-0(30-15). Nikoloz a little guilty of standing too far behind the baseline making him vulnerable to the winner. Aside from the first set , the Georgian never had a look in in this one , zero breaks won. Such was Matteo’s dominance with the racquet. He now faces Andy Murray conqueror Carlos Alcaraz Garfia in the quarters. The Spanish clay courter enjoying life on the slower Vienna courts.