Matteo Berrettini begins comeback with victory on Stuttgart grass in preparation for Wimbledon
Matteo Berrettini has got his 2022 grass court campaign up and running with a win in Stuttgart having not played since Indian Wells in March.
The Italian, 26, defeated qualifier Radu Albot 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 and is seeded second at the German event behind world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Berrettini, who won Stuttgart for his maiden grass title back in 2019, has not played since 16th March.
His absence has followed wrist surgery that initially kept him away from all three clay Masters events.
That was before more bad news for the world number 10 meant he also had to skip Roland Garros.
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What lies ahead for Berrettini is a turbulent time with the rankings.
The Italian has fallen slightly from sixth to 10th on the ATP ladder in his time away with injury, a trend that will only worsen during the grass season.
Right now, of the 3805 ranking points held by Berrettini, 1915, over half, are from grass court events from 2019 to 2021.
Of those, 1200 will drop without replacement thanks to the ATP decision to strip Wimbledon of ranking points this year.
Those 1200 points are what Berrettini earned by reaching the Wimbledon final last year.
The remaining 715 come from winning Queen’s last year, winning Stuttgart in 2019 and reaching the semi-finals of Halle in 2019.
At best, should Berrettini win Stuttgart and successfully defend his 2021 Queen’s title, he will be able to maintain 750 of those 1915 ranking points.
At worst, he could lose as many points as would see him drop outside the top 20.
Looking ahead to his next match, Berrettini will take on either compatriot Lorenzo Sonego or home talent Jan Lennard-Struff in the Stuttgart quarter-finals.
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