cinch Championships 2022: Berrettini's title bid continues -semi-final preview
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The final four at the cinch Championships – here we go! Saturday at Queen’s means semi-finals day and this year’s matches are guaranteed to bring the heat. Check out our preview on the two Centre Court clashes scheduled for tomorrow.
Matteo Berrettini (ITA) (2) vs Botic van de Zandschlup (NED)
What more can we say about our defending champion Berrettini – the man is a machine on grass.
Having finished last year’s grass court season as runner-up at Wimbledon, Berrettini has already claimed the Stuttgart Open title this season – beating Andy Murray in the final. The world No.10 is really starting to find his groove at the Queen’s Club now – after coming through a tough three-set second round match against Denis Kudla, Berrettini came back from 4-1 down in the first set to beat Tommy Paul 6-4, 6-2.
If you didn’t know much about Van de Zandschlup before this week, you certainly should by now. The Dutchman has been outstanding this week and could be one of the players in this draw who could match Berrettini for power.
In the opening round he edged British star Paul Jubb in three-sets, before taking down former champion Grigor Dimitrov and world No.44 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Van de Zandschlup has been one of the biggest risers on tour this year – moving up 28 places to world No.29.
There only previous meeting came at Wimbledon last year, where Berrettini won 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) in the second round, en route to his first Grand Slam final.
While all the stats may look in favour of the Italian, Van de Zandschlup has arguably played more consistent tennis this week, setting up what promises to be an intriguing match-up.
Filip Krajinovic (SRB) vs Marin Cilic (CRO) (7)
The king of the three-setters here at Queen’s this week, Krajinovic has shown that he’ll be a tough competitor against anyone who comes his way. His serve and volley style may be seen as a more traditional approach to the grass, but it’s certainly been effective this week.
The Serbian opened his account with a first tour-level win on grass against one of the game’s rising stars, Jenson Brooksby, which he followed up with a brilliant come back win over the big serving Sam Querrey. Battling the home crowd vs Ryan Peniston, the world No.48 once again battled from a set down to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
But tomorrow he’ll face his toughest challenge yet in two-time former champion Marin Cilic. The 33-year-old Croatian is in dazzling form at the moment, coming into the cinch Championships having made it to the semi-finals at Roland Garros only weeks ago.
No stranger to the Queen’s Club - he had to overcome Liam Broady and Alexander Bublik in strong opening round victories to reach his nineth quarter-final. Waiting for him in the final eight was Emil Ruusovuori – one of the stars of the tournament – but Cilic dug deep to fight through an impressive 7-6(2), 6-4 win.
Aiming for a fifth Queen’s final on Saturday, can Krajinovich stop the Croatian in his tracks?
How to watch
You can watch this year’s cinch Championships on the BBC and Prime Video.