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By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, June 17, 2021

 
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Matteo Berrettini blasted 14 aces defeating Andy Murray 6-3, 6-3 to cruise into his fifth quarterfinal of the season and a showdown vs. Dan Evans at Queen's Club.

Photo credit @QueensTennis

The five Queen's Club crowns Andy Murray has amassed support his belief grass is his most natural surface.

Today, top-seeded Matteo Berrettini unleashed a vicious serve and shrewd variation taking the British wild card out of his comfort zone.

More: Rafael Nadal Will Not Play Wimbledon

Berrettini blasted 14 aces defeating Murray 6-3, 6-3 to cruise into his fifth quarterfinal of the season and deny another all-British final eight pairing.




The top-seeded Berrettini improved to 23-6 on the season setting up a quarterfinal vs. sixth-seeded Dan Evans.

Earlier, British No. 1 Evans saved five of six break points defeating Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-6(7) in a historic win for British tennis marking the first time in Open Era history three British men have reached the last eight at Queen's Club.

"Now I think I'm in a good position and, you know, heading in the right direction I think," Evans said. "It's tough to be in the quarters of Queen's, and there is tough matches coming up. I think that will be the real test.

"I can sort of gauge my game a lot better after tomorrow or the day after that, but I'm happy with how I'm playing."




Evans joins compatriots Cameron Norrie and wild card Jack Draper, who will face off in the quarterfinals, as the third Briton into the last eight. 

Berrettini held a 4-3 lead today when he surged through five straight games to take total command. While the 6'5" Italian's massive serve was a menacing weapon in that run—the Italian dropped just six points on first serve in the match—the 2019 US Open semifinalist did damage with his heavy forehand, mixed in his low slice backhand and was effective closing at net too.

Playing just his third Tour-level tournament of the season, Murray defended well at the start, but could not generate enough offense against the big-hitting Berrettini in the second set.

In his opening service game, Berrettini saved a pair of break points, keeping his cool when Murray reflexed back a smash with a drop volley to deny the second.

A clever lob from the Italian helped him earn triple break point. Though Murray erased the first two break points, he ran around his backhand on the third and dragged a forehand down the line wide as Berrettini broke for 3-2.

Berrettini banged his 10th ace down the T holding at 15 for 5-3.

The two-time Wimbledon winner dug a deeper hole sailing a swing forehand volley and netting a backhand to face double set point. Murray saved the first set point but flattened a forehand into net as Berrettini broke again to take the 40-minute opening set.

The former world No. 1 still has some of the softest hands in the sport, but Berrettini tormented Murray with fine feel of his own. The 6'5" Italian drew Murray in with a drop volley then employed his expansive wingspan to block a stretched volley for break point. Berrettini displaced Murray with a heavy diagonal forehand then attacked behind a softer slice backhand breaking for a 2-0 second-set lead.




Saving his third break point of the match, Berrettini burst off the mark quickly for a drop shot and leaped for a smash.  The Italian threw down a serve winner for his fifth straight game and a 3-0 second-set lead.

Tennis Express

A free-flowing Berrettini slammed down a service winner for triple match point then slashed a forehand to close in one hour, 25 minutes.


 

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