Berrettini Beats Kirkin To Start Antalya Open Title Bid

Matteo Berrettini (photo: Antalya Open/Instagram)

STARNBERG, January 9, 2021

Top seed Matteo Berrettini opened his first title bid of the 2021 season on Friday at the Antalya Open with a comfortable 6-0, 6-4 win over Turkish wild card Ergi Kirkin, who was seeking his first match win on the ATP Tour after losing his debut to Peter Gojowczyk at the 2019 Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya on grass.

The World No. 10 from Italy struck eight aces and won 92 per cent of his first-service points to advance to the second round after only 56 minutes.

“I thought it was important to play in the first week of the season, ahead of the Australian swing,” Berrettini told “I have been working hard and for the first time in two years haven’t been affected by an injury [coming into a new season]. I thought I played well today and I’m looking to build my confidence in Antalya, where I have played four times before when I was starting my career.”

Berrettini will next take on Bulgarian qualifier Dimitar Kuzmanov, who led 6-1, 3-2 when Laslo Djere of Serbia retired due to an eye inflammation.

Fifth seeded German Jan-Lennard Struff, currently ranked at a career-high World No. 29, saved five of seven break points in a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Russian qualifier Pavel Kotov in 87 minutes. The 30-year-old Warstein native will next oppose France’s Hugo Grenier, who recorded his first ATP Tour match win by beating qualifier Alex Molcan of Slovakia 7-5, 6-4 in 90 minutes.

Bulgarian teenager Adrian Andreev also earned his first tour-level win, beating Turkish wild card entry Marsel Ilhan 6-4, 6-3. In his fourth ATP Tour main draw appearance, the 19-year-old from Sofia capitalized on four of his six break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and 15 minutes. Up next for Andreev will be No. 4 seed Alex de Minaur of Australia, who eased past Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-2, 6-1 in 61 minutes.

No. 3 seed Fabio Fognini also started the new season with a win. The 33-year-old Italian beat Czech qualifier Michael Vrbensky 6-4, 7-6(4)  in one hour and 39 minutes. Fognini, who broke serve in the third game of each set, saw Vrbensky respond in a competitive second set. The Czech won the first three points of the tie-break.

Fognini will now take on Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who edged past Radu Albot of Moldova 6-3, 6-4 in 80 minutes.


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