Possessing an accurate serve and a heavy forehand, Matteo Berrettini was expected to make his mark at slams very early into his career but it took the Italian a bit of time to try and be in the same ranks as his peers Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas were at slams.

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However, Berrettini saw success at slams this year as he reached the finals of Wimbledon Championships and also managed to make it to the quarters at the US Open. The Italian lost both these encounters to world no.1, Novak Djokovic.

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Matteo Berrettini loses to Taylor Fritz at Indian Wells 2021

Coming to the Indian Wells Masters, the Italian managed to reach the third round after a straight-sets victory over Alejandro Tabilo. In the round of 32, Berrettini faced the American Taylor Fritz.

Fritz, who had mixed results this year, had put up commendable performances against top-tier players at big tournaments and even made a comeback post a surgery to his right knee to play the US hard-court season.

Both Fritz and Berrettini faced once at the Davis Cup two years ago where the latter won the contest. Even against the Italian today, Fritz played top-notch tennis and took advantage of Berrettini’s struggling first-serve.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 10, 2021 Taylor Fritz of the U.S. in action during his first round match against Britain’s Dan Evans REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

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The Italian, who usually wins numerous points on his first-serve couldn’t find his groove today and the conditions at Indian Wells didn’t allow him to play his usual game.

As a result, Berrettini lost the first set and even fell behind the score line in the second. Fritz’s accurate serve and all-round baseline game turned out to be successful in the end as he defeated the Italian in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.

Sep 2, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Matteo Berrettini of Italy hits to Corentin Moutet of France on day four of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Rafael Nadal benefits from Berrettini’s loss to Fritz

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A rather surprising defeat from Berrettini will force a dip in his ranking points in the updated results to be released next Monday.

However, the Italian’s downfall will benefit Rafael Nadal as he might enter the top-5 once again after falling out of the same last month.

Aug 5, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a forehand against Lloyd Harris of South Africa (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Spaniard might drop to seventh or eighth position owing to the performance of Berrettini at Paris Masters and World tour finals, for the time being, it’s evident that Nadal will enter the top-5 once again on Monday.

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