All is set for a blockbuster quarterfinal at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2021 with Novak Djokovic ready to cross rackets with Stefanos Tsitsipas. To get there, the world number one easily handled the young talented Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, while the Greek upset the local crowd and took down Matteo Berrettini.
On the first match of this edition with crowd in the stands of the Campo Centrale, Novak Djokovic showed his muscles on a very convincing performance against in-form qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. But after an initial break, the solid Spaniard could do little against the world number one. ‘Nole’ did not let any distraction come to his clinical execution of a perfect game plan, mixing up nicely powerful groundstrokes, narrow cross-courts and systematic drop shots. In a little more than an hour, the Serb closed his match with an impressive 6-2 6-1.
“I was happy with the way I played today”, said the world number one: “I think I’m on the good way. Obviously tomorrow is going to be a huge challenge for me. I’m going to be ready for it. I’ve been practicing well and feeling good. I’ll make sure I prepare myself well for the next match”.
And he knows he will have to play to a similar good level as today, since Stefanos Tsitsipas showed on court to be ready to challenge the defending champion.
The Greek looked in great shape during a quality match against Madrid finalist and world number nine Matteo Berrettini. The first set went on serve with both players holding without troubles, mixing up powerful and soft touches that did not let any other chance than a tiebreak. The Italian started better and with the crowd behind him, he took a 3-1 lead. However, the Australian Open and Roland Garros semifinalist started to read his opponent’s serve and to begin the rallies thanks to accurate, deep and often high-bouncing returns. Berrettini tried to demand more from his serve, but it resulted in less accuracy. One dubious call on a dropshot from the Italian made him lose his patience and Tstitsipas capitalized to take the tiebreak.
The world number five kept the same focus on his return and though Berrettini managed to hold serve in the first game, the lack of first serves caused the first break of the match on the third game. Supported by the crowd, the Italian had two chances to go back on serve, but Tsitsipas cleared those and never looked back. 7-6(3) 6-2 the final score to set up a thriller in the quarter finals against Djokovic.
It will be their first match between the two in 2021, but it promises to be a high quality one, since last time they met in Roland Garros 2020 semifinal, ‘Nole’ needed five sets to tame his opponent and Tsitsipas comes to this match strong of a title in Monte Carlo and the final in Barcelona.