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Berrettini Holds Firm To Down Foki In 5-Set Epic

  • Posted: Sep 04, 2022

Berrettini Holds Firm To Down Foki In 5-Set Epic

2019 semi-finalist to meet Ruud or Moutet next up at Flushing Meadows

Like many before him, Matteo Berrettini found there was no easy way past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at the US Open on Sunday. Yet the Italian demonstrated his own ability to dig deep as he prevailed 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in the pair’s fourth-round clash at the hard-court Grand Slam.

After a slow start that saw him trailing by a set and a break, Berrettini looked to have taken control of the three-hour, 45-minute encounter after finding rhythm behind his serve and huge forehand, but the Spaniard responded to some raucous support from the stands to storm back with a stirring fourth-set showing that forced a decider on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Berrettini, who missed Roland Garros and Wimbledon this season, was finally able to shake off the challenge of the World No. 39 in the fifth set by breaking Davidovich Fokina’s serve three times. Davidovich Fokina’s ability to mount a late comeback was hindered after he twisted his knee when serving at 3-2 in the decider, and despite twice receiving treatment from the physio he returned to court to fight to the end in front of an enraptured crowd. Berrettini nonetheless kept his cool to complete the win and level his ATP Head2Head series against Davidovich Fokina at 1-1.

With the win, the 26-year-old Berrettini reached the quarter-finals for his fifth consecutive Grand Slam appearance. He will next face fifth seed Casper Ruud or lucky loser Corentin Moutet. The Italian will try to reach the semi-finals in New York for the second time.

More to follow…

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US Open Day 7 Preview: Medvedev & Kyrgios In NYC Showdown

  • Posted: Sep 04, 2022

US Open Day 7 Preview: Medvedev & Kyrgios In NYC Showdown

Berrettini, Ruud chase quarter-final spots in New York

A blockbuster fourth-round clash between World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and Nick Kyrgios headlines the action on Sunday at the US Open, where Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud are also seeking to reach the quarter-finals at the hard-court major in New York. looks at five things to watch on Day 7 at Flushing Meadows.

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1) Medvedev Vs. Kyrgios Part III: New York plays host to the third act of a gripping 2022 rivalry on Sunday as World No. 1 Medvedev and the in-form Kyrgios collide.

Medvedev proved too strong for the Australian over four sets at the Australian Open in January, but Kyrgios improved his lead in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series to 3-1 with an impressive three-set triumph in Montreal in mid-August. A confident Kyrgios is 13-2 since reaching his maiden major final at Wimbledon in July, and Medvedev is prepared for a match of fine margins.

“We’ve played great matches. I think all have been quite tight on the scoreboard,” said Medvedev after defeating Wu Yibing in the third round in New York. “It’s 3-1 to him but I will try to do better this time and it will be a great match for people to watch.”

A spot in the quarter-finals is not the only thing on the line for Medvedev, who would lose his No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after the US Open should he fall to Kyrgios on Sunday. For Kyrgios, securing a quarter-final berth would lift the Australian back into the Top 20 of the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

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Medvedev To Put No. 1 On Line vs. Kyrgios

2) Berrettini To Brave Foki?: Matteo Berrettini fended off the challenge of 2012 champion Andy Murray on Friday to progress to the fourth round for the fourth consecutive year. Next up, the 13th seed faces another player renowned for his on-court resilience in Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Davidovich Fokina rallied from a two-sets-to-one deficit to defeat Marton Fucsovics in the third round, and the World No. 39 will enter his second tour-level meeting against 2019 semi-finalist Berrettini with confidence — he was a straight-sets winner in the pair’s sole previous meeting on the clay in Monte Carlo in 2021.

3) Ruud Seeks To Halt Moutet’s Dream Run: Casper Ruud is into uncharted territory in New York. The Norwegian held firm to beat Tommy Paul over five sets on Friday and reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the first time. The run follows a significant breakthrough for Ruud at Grand Slam level after his maiden championship match appearance at Roland Garros in June.

Ruud’s next opponent, Corentin Moutet, thought his US Open was over eight days ago after falling in the final round of qualifying. Yet the Frenchman has seized his opportunity as a lucky loser to surge to the fourth round of a major for the first time. Sunday’s clash will be the maiden tour-level meeting between dangerous lefty Moutet and fifth seed Ruud.

4) Carreno Busta & Khachanov Clash: Is Pablo Carreno Busta embarking on another dream US Open run? The Spaniard was a semi-finalist in New York in 2017 and 2020, and the 12th seed has been a consistent performer so far this fortnight, defeating 2020 champion Dominic Thiem, Alexander Bublik and Alex de Minaur all in four sets.

The Montreal champion now meets Karen Khachanov as he chases his 10th win of the North American hard-court swing. The World No. 31 Khachanov has won the past three meetings between the pair, including clashes on hard courts at the Tokyo Olympics and at Indian Wells. Can Carreno Busta summon more New York magic to halt that trend on Sunday?

5) Ram/Salisbury Aim To Maintain Momentum: Defending doubles champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury have been in ominous form in New York so far, producing two straight-sets victories to reach the third round for the fourth year in a row. Yet their next opponents, Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini, also know a thing or two about winning at the majors.

The Italians triumphed at the 2015 Australian Open and reached the semi-finals in New York in 2011. With both teams chasing their third tour-level titles of 2022, top seeds Ram and Salisbury could be set their biggest test yet as they chase their third Grand Slam crown.

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Nadal Reaches US Open 4th Round With 18th Consecutive Win Against Gasquet

  • Posted: Sep 04, 2022

Nadal Reaches US Open 4th Round With 18th Consecutive Win Against Gasquet

Spaniard will next play home favourite Tiafoe

Rafael Nadal was bloodied and tested in his second-round match at the US Open against Fabio Fognini. The Spaniard faced no such difficulties on Saturday inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The four-time champion breezed past former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet 6-0, 6-1, 7-5 to reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows. Nadal has won all 18 of his ATP Head2Head meetings against Gasquet and 34 consecutive sets against the Frenchman.

On Thursday evening, Nadal not only cut open the bridge of his nose in a freak accident in the final set; he had trailed Fognini by a set and 2-4. During his post-match press conference, the 22-time major winner was clear that he was “practising much, much better than what I am playing”.

The lefty showed that in his victory against the 15-time ATP Tour titlist Gasquet. After escaping a 0/40 deficit on his serve in the first game, Nadal raced through the rest of the match in two hours and 17 minutes.

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Nadal won the first nine games of the clash. When Gasquet finally got on the scorebaord thanks to a Nadal return error, the Frenchman lifted his arms in celebration. It was that kind of match for the Frenchman.

Nadal hit a tremendous backhand passing shot for a winner from well behind the baseline to begin the third set, seemingly putting himself on the verge of victory. But Gasquet’s shoulders opened up from there and he got back on serve, showing the level that helped him to the Top 10 in the world. Nadal did not let the encounter get any trickier, earning his seventh service break at 5-5 before successfully serving for his place in the fourth round.

Gasquet holds the record for most losses against Nadal without a win (18). Second on the list is another Frenchman, Paul-Henri Mathieu, who lost all 10 of his clashes against the lefty.

Nadal will next play Frances Tiafoe, against whom he has won both his previous matches. The American defeated Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-6(7), 6-4, 6-4 earlier in the day.

“I thought it was a hell of a match. Especially that first set, one of the craziest sets I’ve played in my career,” Tiafoe said. “It had everything in it. Down two breaks, serving again at 6-5, me down 6/3 in the breaker. Unbelievable how I even won the set.”

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