Berrettini crushes Thiem to meet top seed Ruud in Gstaad final

·2-min read

Matteo Berrettini put the brakes on Dominic Thiem's impressive return to the courts on Saturday crushing him 6-1, 6-4 to set up a clash with top seed Casper Ruud in the final of the Gstaad ATP tournament.

The Italian world number 15, playing his first event since having to withdraw from Wimbledon with Covid, made short work of the 2020 US Open champion, putting him away in just 77 minutes.

Defending champion Ruud also looked impressive as he swept past fourth-seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos 6-2, 6-0 in just over an hour to set up a clash of the top two seeds on Sunday.

"I'm really happy with my performance,” said Berrettini, the 2018 champion in Gstaad.

"I don't think I gave him the time to play his game and that was the key today.”

It has still been a good week for the Austrian who has slipped to 274 in the ATP rankings after a year of setbacks, including a wrist injury, depression and Covid. This was his first semi-final in 14 months.

Berrettini goes forward to his eleventh career final and is bidding for a third straight title after wins on grass at Queen's and in Stuttgart.

In a battle of the past two champions at the clay-court event in Switzerland, Ruud was dominant throughout as the French Open finalist reached his fifth final of the year.

The Norwegian broke Ramos' serve five times and did not face a single break point, as he also targets a second Gstaad title and third this year.

Both finalists are unbeaten in the Swiss mountains, with Berrettini winning of his debut in 2018 and Ruud lifting the trophy on his first appearance a year ago.

"It's going to be tough," said Berrettini.

"The four (semi-finalists) all won here, so we definitely like to play (in Gstaad). We like the altitude. I won 2018, Albert in 2019, and Casper in 2021, so I guess we like it here."

Berrettini and Ruud are tied 2-2 in their head-to-head record, with the Italian winning their most recent clash in the Madrid semi-finals last year.

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