The Italian Matteo Berrettini was just too strong for British challenger Cameron Norrie in the final of the cinch Championships at Queen’s Club on Sunday.
The fact that the heavy showers held off long enough for play to finish delighted both the fans and the officials at the Barons Court venue.
While British hopes were dashed with Norrie’s loss, there was home-grown success in the men’s wheelchair singles final where Gordon Reid beat Argentinian Gustavo Fernandez 6-2, 6-2 to lift the trophy.
“It just feels so good to be back on the grass,” said 29-year-old Reid, who triumphed in the inaugural men’s singles wheelchair event at Wimbledon in 2016.
A left-hander who won gold at the Rio Paralympics, Reid is now in peak form ahead of this year’s Wimbledon.
“Tactically, I got it spot-on today,” he said after the match. “It’s great that the wheelchair event is here, and we are part of a competition with so much history. It’s amazing to have my name on the winners’ board now.”
Success in W14
The tournament, cancelled last year because of Covid, was declared a success despite Friday’s rain interruptions, with more television coverage than ever before and enthusiastic (if socially distanced) spectators.
The clash of 25-year-olds Berrettini and Norrie saw the Italian’s ferocious serves eventually win the day 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 after he had knocked out Andy Murray and Dan Evans in earlier rounds. Remarkably, Berrettini didn’t drop a single service game in the entire tournament.
“It’s been an unbelievable week,” said Berrettini, who was making his first appearance at Queen’s. He generously added that he thought Norrie “will win a title soon”.
Tournament director Luiz Carvalho thanked all the umpires and line judges, but had special praise for the ground crew, who certainly earnt their corn as the covers repeatedly came on and off as the showers passed overhead. And organisers also thanked keyworkers from the local NHS and H&F Council for their hard work during the pandemic.
Anyone for tennis?
If you’re been inspired by Berrettini and Norrie, and want to play competitive tennis yourself, there are chances at all levels of ability in the Hammersmith & Fulham tennis league.
Backed by the Lawn Tennis Association, the current competition for over 18s runs until early August, with matches between players of similar standard played at Brook Green, Bishops Park, Ravenscourt Park, Eel Brook Common, Hurlingham Park and South Park. The fee is £18 per round.
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