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Davis Cup: Young Matteo Berrettini is in mix for doubles, hints Italy non-playing captain

Berrettini, the youngest member in the team, had pipped Italy's top-ranked singles player Marco Cecchinato (world number 19) to make the singles draw.

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Kolkata Published on: February 01, 2019 18:47 IST
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Davis Cup: Young Matteo Berrettini is in mix for doubles, hints Italy non-playing captain

Italy on Friday did not rule out the possibility of fielding Matteo Berrettini in Saturday's doubles tie against India after the youngster made a dream Davis Cup debut. 

Berrettini, the youngest member in the team, had pipped Italy's top-ranked singles player Marco Cecchinato (world number 19) to make the singles draw.

And he lived up to his non-playing captain Corrado Barazzutti's confidence by beating India's numero uno singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran in less than an hour to hand Italy a 2-0 lead on the opening day of the Davis Cup Qualifier.

"He (Berrettini) played very well. He played like a veteran even though it was his first Davis Cup match. He really had a great match," Barazzutti said. 

The 1976 Davis Cup winner said Italy's doubles line-up is not yet finalised and they have one-hour time before the match to change the combination.

"We still have time to discuss about that (Berrettini's inclusion). We can change the doubles combination one hour before the match. We still have time to change the team," he said.

However, during the official draw, Italy had paired Cecchinato with doubles specialist Simone Bolelli. 

Saturday's only rubber will be the doubles and there is a strong chance of the 22-year-old pipping Cecchinato once again as they would look to seal the issue.

The 22-year-old Berrettini had won the doubles title in St Petersburg Open with Fabio Fognini, who is missing the ongoing Qualifiers.

Berrettini also clinched the first title of his career upsetting second seed Roberto Bautista Agut en route to winning the Swiss Open in Gstaad in July last year.

"A lot of things have changed (since the Swiss Open win). Things are starting to fall in place. I think I did a great week there. I realised I could play at that level. After that I won doubles with Fabio. I like to play tennis. It's a dream coming true," Berrettini said.

Berrettini, however, said the Indian duo of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan would be tough to beat.

"They are always a very good team in doubles. We know it will be tough. For them, it's a very important point. They will play their best tennis possible. But we are up for the challenge. We are a good team too. We will try hard to win the match," he said about doubles rubber.

The youngster was at his aggressive best against Prajnesh, who has achieved career-high 102 rank recently.

"Our captain decided to play aggressive tennis, to play as the net as much as possible. I think I did all these things really well," Berrettini said.

He further gave credit to Andreas Seppi for winning the opening rubber against Ramkumar Ramanathan, something that made his work easier.

"There was a bit of pressure on me. It was my first match in the Davis Cup. But Andreas played a great match and reduced my pressure," Berrettini said.

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