June 25, 2022

(AP)

Andy Murray takes on Matteo Berrettini in the Stuttgart Open final this afternoon as the Scot aims for a first title on grass in six years and continues his preparation for Wimbledon.

Murray picked up an impressive quarter-final victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier this week before beating Nick Kyrgios in the semi-final on Saturday and now faces Berrettini in search of his 47th career title and first on grass since Wimbledon 2016.

Tsitsipas was the No. 1 seed and Murray’s win was his first against a top-five player in the world in six years. Murray’s serve has been particularly reliable this week and it will serve him well for the rest of the grass-court season.

Murray appears to have benefited from his decision to skip the French Open, despite some good clay-court matches in the build-up, and looks fresh on the grass. He plans to play at Queen’s before embarking on another mission to shock Wimbledon glory, 35, later this month, but the first is a trophy battle with Berrettini in Stuttgart.

Follow live coverage of the Stuttgart Open final below:

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Andy Murray 4-6, 2-1* Matteo Berrettini – Stuttgart Open Final

Murray is now fighting fire with fire, he is timing the bombs sent by Berrettini.

Like a boxer against superbly, Berrettini drops a few balls into the net. 30-30.

Berrettini wastes a play point, his drop shot cuts the top of the net and lands on his side. Devil.

A rocket from a first serve gives the Italian the lead, he raises his eyes in celebration. Game point again. Murray still leads 6-5 in aces.

Jack RathbornJune 12, 2022 3:15 p.m.

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Andy Murray 4-6, *2-1 Matteo Berrettini – Stuttgart Open Final

Murray intervenes nicely, a short return is sent in the backhand of Berrettini.

Murray Clinic here leads 2-1 after an easy take, just what he would have wanted.

Jack RathbornJune 12, 2022 3:11 p.m.

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Andy Murray 4-6, *1-1 Matteo Berrettini – Stuttgart Open Final

Matteo Berrettini celebrates

(AP)

Andy Murray returns a ball

(AP)

Jack RathbornJune 12, 2022 3:10 p.m.

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Andy Murray 4-6, 1-1* Matteo Berrettini – Stuttgart Open Final

Superb cushioning from Berrettini to bring the play ball up.

Then the contrasting thump of his booming serve, blending it nicely here and leveling the whole thing. 1-1.

Jack RathbornJune 12, 2022 3:08 p.m.

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Andy Murray 4-6, *1-0 Matteo Berrettini – Stuttgart Open Final

Murray concentrated again and took the lead in the second set.

Berrettini with a few loose jabs and goes long twice in a row.

Murray is pumped up, he roars with celebration, 1-0 to start the second.

Jack RathbornJune 12, 2022 3:06 p.m.

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Andy Murray 4-6* Matteo Berrettini – Stuttgart Open Final

Wonderful smash from Berrettini, but Murray fights hard to get back into the point.

Berrettini won’t be denied though, whipping a forehand to his body with a spitting chalk puff as he slips past Murray to score the opening set.

1-0 for the Italian in Stuttgart.

Jack RathbornJune 12, 2022 3:00 p.m.

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Andy Murray *4-5 Matteo Berrettini – Stuttgart Open Final

Wow, terrific point, gorgeous from Murray to survive that, backhand to stay in, then sprint to the net.

He guides a forehand down the line and passes Berrettini who advances to the net.

He’s running 40-0 now, brilliant, then an ace is an answer. 5-4 now and Berrettini will serve for the set.

Jack RathbornJune 12, 2022 2:54 p.m.

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Andy Murray 3-5* Matteo Berrettini – Stuttgart Open Final

A flat, powerful serve from Berrettini pushes him within a game of the first set.

A 5-3 advantage and now Murray must dig deep again to extend this set.

Jack RathbornJune 12, 2022 2:52 p.m.

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Andy Murray *3-4 Matteo Berrettini – Stuttgart Open Final

Murray beats well here, Berrettini with the advantage, but we will have to fight for this first set.

We’re back less than a game away as the pair grab another drink.

Three aces apiece, Murray pushed his first serves % up to 58%, but Berrettini still leads with 70%.

Jack RathbornJune 12, 2022 2:49 p.m.

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Andy Murray *2-3 Matteo Berrettini – Stuttgart Open Final

Murray in all sorts of trouble here, he’s 0-40 and facing three break points.

And another, ACE! To tie the game count at 2-2.

Now one more breaking point. Berrettini finds the net as Murray rushes halfway to the net, heck it. A huge boost for the Scotsman.

Better, this first service turns viciously off the forehand of Berrettini, advantage Murray.

Wonderful variety to this game, with Murray’s soft shot not quite working, he throws a backhand return after Berrettini happily hid the short ball. It’s still the devil.

It’s a catch from Murray after a few wicken and top forehands punished Berrettini’s forehand across the field. WAIT, players stop to drink, 2-3*.

Jack RathbornJune 12, 2022 2:34 p.m.

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