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BACK-TO-BACK TITLES FOR BERRETTINI, HURKACZ'S HALLE HEROICS


Photographs: Matteo Berrettini, Hubert Hurkacz (Getty Images).


Matteo Berrettini and Hubert Hurkacz have both secured silverware after convincing straight-sets wins on Sunday night.


The Italian was a deserving winner over Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 32 minutes. The win marked a successful title defence for Berrettini and his seventh tour-level trophy and fourth on grass.




The second seed has now won nine matches on the bounce and claimed titles at the Stuttgart Open and Queen’s Club Championships since his return following three months out with a right-hand injury.


It was another dominant serving performance (14 aces) from the world No. 10 who will now enter Wimbledon with arguably the best lead-up form of anyone on tour.


“There are so many emotions," Berrettini said while accepting the trophy.


"The last thing I expected was to come back from surgery and win two titles in a row, defend my title here at one of the most prestigious tournaments we have. I don’t want to cry. Most of the job is thanks to them, my team and my family. I just can’t believe it.”


The 26-year-old found a way past Andy Murray in the Stuttgart final last week and was just as clinical against the Serbian Krajinovic on Sunday.


Krajinovic, believe it or not, had never won a tour-level match on grass before arriving in London but put together an impressive week, highlighted by a straight-sets victory over 2022 French Open semi-finalist Marin Cilic.


“It was an amazing past 10 days. Very emotional,” Krajinovic said of his tournament post-match.


“For me the first final on grass. [The crowd] helped me so much. I felt like I was playing at home.“


The Serbian will soon reach a ranking of world No. 31 while Berrettini will actually fall to world No. 11 after Hubert Hurkacz humbled Daniil Medvedev on Sunday.


In what was a surprise result for many, it was the Pole who came out on top in Halle with a rapid 6-1, 6-4 victory in just over an hour.


After Medvedev forced the first game of the match to deuce, Hurkacz found his shot and quickly gained the ascendancy. He broke the Russian in the very next game and never looked back from there.




Hurkacz was close to impenetrable on serve across the match and was just as dominant from the baseline in a win that marked his maiden tour-level triumph on grass.


“I’m super excited, I’ve been waiting a little bit for my first [title] this year," said Hurkacz in the trophy ceremony. "I’m happy to win my first ATP 500 title and, of course, on the grass it is very special.


With his fifth career title, the 2021 Wimbledon semi-finalist will now improve to world No. 10 now just a week out from that very tournament.


Halle marked Medvedev’s second successive final on grass but just as he had against Tim Van Rijthoven in ‘s-Hertogenbosch a week ago, the world No. 1 struggled to find his range and won just five games.


The 2021 US Open champion is now 0-3 in tour-level finals this season as the wait continues for his first title since his maiden Grand Slam success at Flushing Meadows.


“Congrats Hubert, great match today, great week," said Medvedev in his runner-up speech.


"Congrats to you and your team. You guys are super nice. Hopefully a lot more matches to play on the biggest stage. Congrats for a great week and the title.”


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