LONDON – Matteo Berrettini was unfazed by a rain delay in beating Botic van de Zandschulp on Saturday to reach the Queen’s Club final for a second straight year and deftly handled a marriage proposal.
The defending champion beat Van de Zandschulp 6-4, 6-3 to extend his winning streak to eight games.
During his on-court interview, the second-seeded Italian was propositioned from someone in the crowd.
” Let me think about it,” a smiling Berrettini responded.
Berrettini has won 19 of his last 20 grass-court matches with the only loss coming to Novak Djokovic in last year’s Wimbledon final.
In Sunday’s final he will play Filip Krajinovic of Serbia, who knocked out two-time champion Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3. Krajinovic hadn’t won a tour match on grass until this week.
“It is an unbelievable feeling,” Krajinovic said on court. “I can’t believe I am in the final. Before this tournament I had never won a match on grass. (I thought) I would come here and win just one or maybe two matches.”
The Italian hasn’t lost since his return to competitive play after three months out with a hand injury. He beat Andy Murray in Stuttgart last week to claim his third grass-court title.
Berrettini dropped only four points on his first serve Saturday and hit 24 winners to nine unforced errors. He called the win his best of the week.
“Today was really tough match, we stopped for the rain,” he said of the delay in the second set.
Berrettini broke the Dutchman on the first point back after play resumed to take a 4-2 lead.
“We have to adjust to everything,” he said. “We have to be ready to stop and then to come back. I was ready when I had to be ready.”
Krajinovic moved Cilic back and forth with deep returns in windy conditions, and saved all six break points he faced.
The Serb will try to earn his first ATP singles title with his first win over Berrettini in his first Queen’s Club final.
He said, “I will enjoy.”