(Reuters) – Italian Matteo Berrettini reached his first grasscourt final with a 6-4 7-5 victory over home favourite Jan-Lennard Struff at the Stuttgart Open on Saturday.
World number 30 Berrettini produced a clinical display as he won all but four of his first-serve points, breaking Struff’s serve once in each set to reach his third ATP final of the season.
“This week I’m playing really well. I’m feeling really comfortable on the court,” said Berrettini, who has held all 39 of his service games this week. “Since last year I think I’ve improved a lot on grass.”
Berrettini will face Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime in Sunday’s title decider after former Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic pulled out of their semi-final due to a back injury.
Auger-Aliassime, the youngest player in the world’s top 100 and ranked a career-high 21st, will be aiming for his maiden ATP title after final losses in Rio de Janeiro and Lyon this year.
“It’s just tough to see Milos having to withdraw. He’s always been great to me since I first arrived on Tour when I was a junior,” Auger-Aliassime said of his compatriot.
“It’s tough to see him go out that way but at the same time it is what it is and I have to try and get ready for tomorrow’s final as best as I can.”
Seventh seed Auger-Aliassime overcame Dustin Brown in a thrilling quarter-final on Friday after saving a match point in the final set.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)