Date: 16 June 2022
Tournament: Cinch Championships 2022.
Round: Second round (Round of 16).
Venue: London, United Kingdom.
Category: ATP 500.
Prize money: €2,134,520.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | Canada - TSN | UK - Amazon Prime Video.
Matteo Berrettini vs Denis Kudla preview
Defending champion Matteo Berrettini will take on lucky loser Denis Kudla in the second round of the 2022 Cinch Championships on Thursday.
Berrettini, who won the Boss Open in Stuttgart last week by defeating three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray in the final, kicked off his title defense in London with a win over Dan Evans in the first round.
The opening set was rather straightforward. Both players held serve until the eighth game of the set, when Berrettini broke to go 5-3 up. The Italian then had to save a couple of break points before he was able to close out the set.
Berrettini started the second set by breaking Evans' serve once again. The Brit had an opportunity to level the score in the eighth game, but failed to capitalize on the three break points that he had.
With Evans serving to stay in the match at 5-3, he led 40:15 but Berrettini soon took him to deuce. The Brit had another couple of game points for a service hold, but the defending champion refused to yield. The back-and-forth continued as each held another two game points and three match points respectively.
Berrettini finally sealed the deal on his fourth match point to win 6-3, 6-3.
Denis Kudla fell in the qualifying rounds of the Cinch Championships, but got a second shot following Murray's withdrawal from the tournament. The American secured a place in the main draw as a lucky loser and took on Lorenzo Sonego in the first round.
Kudla started the match by breaking his opponent's serve in the very first game of the opening set. However, Sonego struck back to make it 2-2. The American once again went up a break to lead 4-3 and saved a couple of break points in the next game. The Italian held serve to make it 5-4, but his opponent easily served out the set after that to clinch it.
Sonego raised his level to nab the second set. He carried the momentum in the deciding set as well, going up a break to lead 2-0. Kudla fought back to level the score and the duo held serve until the final game of the match. The Italian served to stay in the match at 5-4, but the pressure proved to be too much.
Kudla broke his opponent for the final time to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Matteo Berrettini vs Denis Kudla head-to-head
The duo have split their four meetings equally to tie their head-to-head at 2-2. Berrettini won their previous encounter at the 2019 Stuttgart Open in straight sets.
Matteo Berrettini vs Denis Kudla odds
All odds are sourced from BetMGM.
Matteo Berrettini vs Denis Kudla prediction
Berrettini's serve was insanely good in his first-round match against Evans. He hammered down 21 aces, some at crucial points under pressure, and won 80% of his first serve points. If Kudla is unable to neutralize this serve, the contest will be one-sided.
Berrettini's huge forehand also did quite the work. His backhand, generally considered to be the weaker wing, has also improved a fair bit, with his backhand slice winning him quite a few points.
Against Sonego in the first round, Kudla went 5/13 on break points. It's unlikely he'll get as many chances against Berrettini. On top of that, if he fails to make the most of whatever opportunities he gets against the defending champion, it'll be quite difficult to recover.
In the end, given Berrettini's form, it's likely to be an easy victory for him.
Pick: Matteo Berrettini to win in straight sets.