World number 33, Matteo Berrettini will take on 40th-ranked Lorenzo Sonego in the first round of the ATP Stuttgart Open on Monday afternoon. The winner of this match will face either Christopher O’Connell or Daniel Altmaier in the next round. This will be the third time that these two meet, though only one was at the highest level. Berretini has won all three, with the most recent coming at this very tournament last year in the quarter-final. The Italian’s record this year stands at 9-7, and he has seen his rank slip from the top 20, but now heading to his favoured surface, he will be expecting to kick on from here. Berrettini has been formidable on the grass over the last three years. Last year he went unbeaten in nine matches while only losing one in 12 the year before. Fitness issues have played a part in his drop-off this year, which includes a first-round exit at the Australian Open and passing up Roland Garros. Will Berretini return to his best form back on his preferred surface?
Sonego will be out for revenge after last year's quarter-final defeat to this opponent and is coming into this match following a decent run on the clay. He is 15-14 for the year and had a record 5-4 on the grass last year and 6-3 in 2021. Sonego got to the third round of the Rome Masters at the start of May and put on a credible performance at Roland Garros. At the Grand Slam event, Sonego overcame Ben Shelton and Ugo Humbert in the opening rounds before pulling off one of the biggest upsets in round three by beating Andrey Rublev after going two sets down. His run in France has given his ranking a positive boost, too, from 48th to inside the top 40. He’s by far the more match-ready for this one but will know that overcoming his fellow countryman will not be an easy task.
Under normal circumstances, Berretini would be an easy pick in this encounter, but that isn’t the case here. Sonego will come into this tournament with bags of confidence following a very good showing in France, and we fancy him to give another good account of himself on the grass. We’ll be having a punt on a win for Sonego, but our main wager will be a slightly less-risky option for him to win at least one set. Our Lorenzo Sonego vs Matteo Berrettini prediction: Lorenzo Sonego to win a set.