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10sBalls Shares Ricky’s Tennis Picks For the Stuttgart Semis: Andy Murray vs. Nick Kyrgios and Berrettini vs. Otte

By Ricky Dimon

It may be an all-unseeded matchup, but Andy Murray vs. Nick Kyrgios is an absolute blockbuster in the Stuttgart semifinals on Saturday. Matteo Berrettini and Oscar Otte are also aiming for a spot in the championship match.

Here are my previews and picks for the two matchups.

Andy Murray vs. Nick Kyrgios

Murray and Kyrgios will be squaring off for the seventh time in their careers when they battle for a place in the BOSS Open final on Saturday. The head-to-head series stands at 5-1 in favor of Murray, but they have not faced each other since 2018 and only two of their meetings have come since 2015. Those two most recent ones were also played on grass, with the Scot cruising 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 during fourth-round action at Wimbledon in 2016 before Kyrgios finally got on the scoreboard via a 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 decision at the 2018 Queen’s Club tournament. 

Both men played just a single clay-court event this spring, so they are well-rested for the month-long push on their beloved grass. Unsurprisingly, each player is looking good on his favorite surface. Murray, a two-time Wimbledon champion, has advanced in Stuttgart with straight-set defeats of 
Christopher O’Connell, Alexander Bublik, and top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. Kyrgios punched his ticket to the last four by getting past Jiri Lehecka, Nikoloz Basilashvili, and Marton Fucsovics–dropping just one set to Basilashvili in the process. This should be a wildly entertaining affair, but Murray may have the edge given his history of success against the Aussie and because he will surely be more focused–and want it more–in the important moments.

Pick: Murray in 3

Oscar Otte vs. (2) Matteo Berrettini

Not too much unlike Murray and Kyrgios, Berrettini was a complete no-show on clay. But it wasn’t by choice. The 10th-ranked Italian was sidelined from Indian Wells through the French Open because of a right-hand injury. However, Berrettini is also one of the best grass-court players in the world and he is making up for lost time. Following a first-round bye, Stuttgart’s No. 2 seed defeated both Radu Albot and Lorenzo Sonego in three sets to reach the semis.

Next up for Berrettini on Saturday is Otte, who has also taken the court only twice this week. The 61st-ranked German beat Daniel Altmaier in two tiebreakers and did the same against Denis Shapovalov before getting a quarterfinal walkover from Benjamin Bonzi. Otte is 0-2 lifetime against Berrettini, having lost in four sets at both the 2018 French Open and the 2021 U.S. Open. With two matches under his belt, Berrettini should only improve on Saturday–plus he is obviously far more experienced at this stage of ATP tournaments. But don’t be shocked if it’s a third consecutive match for Otte with nothing but tiebreakers.

Pick: Berrettini in 2

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.