IMAGE: Second seed Matteo Berrettini, who missed the claycourt swing after undergoing surgery on his hand in March, was playing in his first tournament since Indian Wells . Photograph: Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images
Matteo Berrettini won the Stuttgart Open for a second time after he beat Andy Murray 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 on Sunday to deny the Scot what would have been his first title on grass in six years.
Second seed Berrettini, who missed the claycourt swing after undergoing surgery on his hand in March, was playing in his first tournament since Indian Wells and triumphed after Murray had injury issues of his own in the decider.
Murray, who has had hip surgeries that nearly ended his career, was not moving well as the match wore on and though he saved a championship point, he was only delaying the inevitable as Berrettini sealed victory in two hours and 40 minutes.
“It feels unbelievable, (winning the title) was the last thing that I imagined when I came here,” Berrettini said.
“Coming back from an injury like that, from the first surgery in my life and then winning the tournament not even playing my best tennis in the first round, so it feels even more special.”
Berrettini broke early in the opener to take a 2-1 lead and he built on that on the back of a good service game — especially on his second serve — before sealing the set with a cross-court forehand winner.
Murray, who prevailed over Nick Kyrgios in an absorbing contest in the semi-final a day earlier, was not at his best and he groaned in frustration when the opening set slipped away from him in the final game.
The 35-year-old Scot improved in the second set, however, and after first denying Berrettini a break point to take a 5-4 lead, he took the set and forced a decider when the Italian hit a return long, letting out a roar in delight.
But just as he had seemed to find his groove, Murray was broken early in the third set and he needed to call on the physiotherapist twice to receive treatment on his hip court-side which restricted his movement.
IMAGE: Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven, ranked 205th in the world, had never won a main-draw match at an ATP Tour event until this week. Photograph: ATP Tour/Twitter
Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven capped a dream run at the Libema Open by beating top seed Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-1 in the final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch on Sunday.
Van Rijthoven, ranked 205th in the world, had never won a main-draw match at an ATP Tour event until this week and he knocked out third seed Taylor Fritz and second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime before victory over Medvedev in 65 minutes secured his maiden title.
The 25-year-old Van Rijthoven broke Medvedev four times and when the Russian’s return on championship point hit the net, he sank to the grass turf as the home crowd cheered their first Dutch champion on home soil in 19 years.
“Congrats Tim, amazing week. First time in an ATP tournament (final) and straightaway you destroy the number two in the world in straight sets,” Medvedev said after collecting the runners-up trophy.
“I don’t know how it feels, so it must be a good feeling!”
Medvedev, the US Open champion, will become the world number one on Monday.