Fixture: (ITA) Matteo Berrettini vs (FRA) Ugo Humbert
Date: 4 January 2022
Tournament: ATP Cup 2022
Round: Group Stage
Prize Money: $14 million
Match timing: Approx. 11.30 am local time, 12.30 am GMT, 6 am IST
Live Telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime
Matteo Berrettini vs Ugo Humbert preview
World No. 7 Matteo Berrettini of Italy takes on France's Ugo Humbert in the second round of the group stage of the 2022 ATP Cup on Tuesday.
The Italian has been the leading player for his country in 2021 after a breakthrough season. The 25-year-old reached his first Major final at Wimbedon, and made the quarterfinals at both Roland Garros and the US Open. He won the Queens's Club Championship and the tournament in Belgrade.
However, Berrettini ended the season coping with an abdominal injury that resulted in withdrawals from the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup. The Italian lost his first match against Alex de Minaur in the ATP Cup in straight sets.
After ending his 2021 season with a five-match losing streak across two months, Ugo Humbert got his 2022 season off to a flyer.
The Frenchman defeated in-form World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in France's first group stage match against defending champions Russia. Humbert went down in the tiebreak in the first set before narrowly winning the next two to take the match 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (2).
The win could mean a return to form for Humbert who had a disappointing end to the 2021 season.
Matteo Berrettini vs Ugo Humbert head-to-head
The group stage encounter in Sydney will be the second match between the two players and Matteo Berrettini leads the head-to-head 1-0. The Italian defeated Humbert in the second round of the 2020 US Open in straight sets.
Matteo Berrettini vs Ugo Humbert prediction
While Matteo Berrettini is the on-paper favorite for this encounter, Ugo Humbert will be fancying his chances given the momentum he gained from his win over Medvedev. The match is a must-win for both, as either France or Italy will be eliminated from the ATP Cup on Tuesday.
Berrettini has his weapons on hardcourts, despite the surfaces in Sydney being slower than usual. When in full flow, his serve is among the best in the world and his forehand is able to eliminate most players out of long exchanges from the baseline.
Humbert, however, has the kind of playing style to disrupt Berrettini's rhythm. The Frenchman has a solid return which could keep him in the Italian's service games. He could also use his own big serve to take control of proceedings early in the encounter.
Berrettini is still getting into his rhythm ahead of the Australian Open and Humbert is likely to make him pay for any inconsistencies in his game.
Prediction: Ugo Humbert to win in three sets.