Berrettini Holds Firm To Down Foki In 5-Set Epic
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…