Madrid Open finalist Matteo Berrettini plays Munich Open winner Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round of the 2021 Italian Open on Tuesday, May 11. Get the live streaming options of this Matteo Berrettini v Nikoloz Basilashvili match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Matteo Berrettini v Nikoloz Basilashvili Head to Head
The players have met three times on the tour, with Berrettini leading the head-to-head 2-1. While Basilashvili won on clay, the Italian emerged victorious on hard court and grass.
Berrettini Confident After Strong Madrid Run
Italian Matteo Berrettini broke onto the scene in 2019 being the holder of three ATP titles, making the US Open semis and qualifying for the year end ATP Tour Finals in London. A weaker 2020 followed with his return to the tour after the pandemic hiatus seeing early losses and injury breaks.
The Italian started 2021 on the right note leading Italy to the finals of the ATP Cup and looking good at the Aussie Open before a round of 16 withdrawal against Stefanos Tsitsipas with an injury.
As a result, Berrettini missed some of the tournaments after the Aussie Open and made his return on the clay. He has been in good touch winning the ATP 250 in Belgrade, his fourth career title and continuing his good form last week in Madrid.
Early wins against Fabio Fognini and Federico Delbonis were followed by a closely fought final eight match against Chilean Cristain Garin where he came back from behind to win, before a convincing win in the semi-final against in-form Norwegian Casper Ruud.
Qualifying for his first ever Masters 1000 final, up against German Alexander Zverev, the Italian won a close first set 10-8 in the tiebreak. But, Zverev put up a fine display thereafter breaking the Berrettini serve at crucial junctures to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-3 for a fourth Masters 1000 title.
Despite falling short, Berrettini will be proud of his run at Madrid and believe a good run at home (the Italian Open) will set him up well for the French Open at the end of the month.
Inconsistent Basilashvili With Two Titles This Season
Nikoloz Basilashvili has had a very up and down last few months on the tour. Six months ago, Basilashvili was estranged from victory. He suffered nine straight losses since his last match win which came in the Davis Cup rubber early March 2020. To compound his misery, a case of domestic abuse on his ex-wife was also made public.
But, he seemed to hit form at the right time in Doha this March with crucial victories against the likes of Roger Federer and Roberto Bautista Agut for a title win at the ATP 250. However, he was unable to continue that form with opening losses in Dubai and Miami to close out the early season hard court swing.
Coming to clay where he is more comfortable, it has been a swing of crests and troughs. The Georgian was a semi-finalist at the Sardegna Open but lost in his opener at Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Heading to Munich for the ATP 250 he added another title in the bag, but lost his first round match last week in Madrid to none other than the completely out of form Frenchman Benoit Paire.
Coming into the Italian Open, Basilasvhili will be looking for a more consistent performance heading into the second major of the year in a few weeks and will be well aware of his tricky opponent in the opener.
Berrettini v Basilashvili Prediction and Tip
A well matched contest between two players who have been in good form of late makes for an exciting opening round match.
While Berrettini maybe the favorite, it remains to be seen how he recovers after the long week in Madrid.
Expect a close encounter with the Italian prevailing in a decider.