By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) – Matteo Berrettini became only the second Italian man to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals after powering past Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3 5-7 7-5 6-3 on Wednesday.
The big-serving seventh seed has flown somewhat under the radar throughout the Championships, but is now eyeing a place in Sunday’s final after an impressive display.
In truth, the 25-year-old could have claimed a fourth successive straight-sets win but for an impressive counter-attack by 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime in the second set.
But his mighty first serve, scorching the No.1 Court turf at an average of 127mph, and a thunderous forehand eventually helped Berrettini overwhelm the Canadian 16th seed.
In his second Grand Slam semi-final, following a run to the last four at the 2019 U.S. Open, Berrettini will face Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz who took out eight-times champion Roger Federer.
Victory would see him contest the Wimbledon final on the same day that Italy play in the Euro 2020 soccer final a few miles down the road at Wembley.
The only other Italian man to reach the last four at Wimbledon was Nicola Pietrangeli in 1960.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)