It was not easy, but Matteo Berrettini battled into the second round at Roland Garros on Tuesday.
The Italian overcame a third-set hiccup to eliminate Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-0, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 after two hours and 22 minutes. The ninth seed has now won his opening match at the clay-court major on all four of his attempts.
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Berrettini just had a tough battle against Daniel in the recent Serbia Open semi-finals, where he triumphed in straight sets. So it was no surprise that the 25-year-old had to dig deep against the World No. 113.
Berrettini cracked 14 aces and won 90 per cent of his first-serve points, blasting 47 winners in his victory. The four-time ATP Tour titlist now leads Daniel 2-1 in their ATP Head2Head series.
Now 19-5 on the season, Berrettini will next play Argentine Federico Coria, who eliminated Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2. This will be their second clash, as Berrettini beat Coria in Rome last year.
Photo Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
The Italian No. 1 wasn’t the only player from his country to advance Tuesday, though. Andreas Seppi recorded his first tour-level match win of the season on Tuesday by knocking out Canadian 20th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The 37-year-old won his first match at the clay-court major in four years with a 6-3, 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-4 victory over the 19-year-old #NextGenATP star in three hours and 33 minutes.
Seppi broke twice in the 41-minute opener and saved one set point at 5/6 in the second-set tie-break, before closing out on his sixth set point with a deep approach shot that Auger-Aliassime could not scramble back.
Auger-Aliassime recovered from a 2-4 deficit with four straight games to take the third set, but Seppi hung on in the fourth set, saving two break points when he served for the match.
Former World No. 18 Seppi, who reached the Roland Garros fourth round in 2021, will now face South Africa’s Kevin Anderson or Kwon Soonwoo of South Korea in the second round.
Auger-Aliassime, who had been attempting to secure his first match win on Parisian clay, is now 14-11 on the season, which includes a runner-up finish at the Murray River Open (l. to Evans) in February.