(Reuters) – Italy’s Matteo Berrettini fought back from a set down to beat Briton Kyle Edmund 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the first round of the Vienna Open on Monday, giving his chances of qualifying for next month’s ATP Finals a shot in the arm.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas have already qualified for the season-ending tournament in London, with Alexander Zverev and Berrettini currently occupying the last two available spots.
Third seed Berrettini fired 10 aces and saved four of five break points during the encounter where the 23-year-old Italian was also forced to call for a trainer after he rolled his ankle early in the match.
However, after dropping serve once in the opening set, he broke Edmund twice and did not face a single break point in the decider to set up a second round clash with Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.
Dimitrov, who won his 300th match on the ATP tour, knocked out qualifier Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-5 and predicted a “great match” in the next round between the two losing semi-finalists from this year’s U.S. Open.
“He (Berrettini) has been playing well. I think above all, everything suits him more at the moment because obviously he’s got a few matches behind his back throughout the year,” Dimitrov said.
“He’s going to go for a lot of his favourite shots and he’s going to try to play his game. But at the same time, I think with each match I gain confidence and each match is just as important for me.”
Russian second seed Karen Khachanov prevailed 6-4 7-6(3) over Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, while Argentine fifth seed Diego Schwartzman beat Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-4 to advance.
Top seed Dominic Thiem is in action on Tuesday when he takes on unseeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)