Matteo Berrettini rallied for an important win in the first round of the Erste Bank Open on Monday, battling past Kyle Edmund 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and six minutes to bolster his hopes in the ATP Race To London, in which there are only two weeks remaining. The Italian is chasing his first appearance in the Nitto ATP Finals.
Berrettini, who is at a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 11, struck 10 aces and saved four of the five break points he faced against Edmund. He locked down his serve in the deciding set, not facing a break point en route to evening his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with the World No. 75 at 1-1.
The 23-year-old will next face 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov, who ousted qualifier Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 7-5. This is Berrettini’s Vienna debut.
Second seed Karen Khachanov worked hard to eliminate 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 7-6(3).
The Russian, who is playing this ATP 500 tournament for the fourth time, played a solid match and took advantage of uncharacteristic errors off Hurkacz's racquet, mostly caused by going for aggressive shots from tough positions. Khachanov held match point on the Polish No. 1's serve at 5-3 in the second set and then served for the victory at 5-4, but failed to capitalise.
After his momentary slip, Khachanov steadied his ship, sprinting to a 4/0 lead in the tie-break and cracking an inside-out forehand winner to triumph after one hour and 41 minutes. Khachanov is pursuing his first ATP Tour title of the season after lifting three trophies in 2018.
In the next round he will face qualifier Marton Fucsovics, who broke serve four times in a 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Italian Lorenzo Sonego. The Hungarian saved four of the six break points he faced.
Fifth seed Diego Schwartzman moved on in more straightforward fashion, ousting Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 47 minutes. The Argentine had lost three consecutive matches before securing this victory. Sschwartzman will next face another Frenchman in Adrian Mannarino, or American Sam Querrey.
Did You Know?
Berrettini does not add points in the ATP Race To London with this win, but he could add 45 points to his total by reaching the quarter-finals.