US Open Day 5 Preview: Berrettini & Murray Ready For Battle
Matteo Berrettini and Andy Murray will meet in a blockbuster clash on Day Five at the US Open, where the top half of the draw will take to court in third-round action.
Reigning champion Daniil Medvedev will look to continue his title defence when he faces history-maker Wu Yibing, while #NextGenATP Briton Jack Draper aims to build on his standout win against sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime when he plays Karen Khachanov.
ATPTour.com looks at five things to watch on Friday in New York.
1) Berrettini & Murray Clash: Berrettini and Murray have tasted success at the hard-court major over the years. The Italian reached the semi-finals in 2019, while Murray lifted his maiden Grand Slam trophy at the event in 2012.
Both will be desperate to create more standout memories in Flushing Meadows over the next week. However, with the pair meeting in the opening match of the day on Arthur Ashe Stadium, only one will be able to continue their journey.
Murray backed up his first-round victory against Francisco Cerundolo by defeating American wild card Emilio Nava to reach the US Open third round for the first time since 2016. The former World No. 1 heads into his match against Berrettini trailing 1-2 in their ATP Head2Head series and expects it to be a difficult test.
“He’s been up at the top of the game for quite a number of years, and now he’s very consistent,” Murray said when asked about the Italian. “He’s a big server who puts down a pretty high percentage of serves usually, so always makes it difficult to break and is always in the match because of that. He’s not just a big server, though. He has a good slice backhand, he has a big forehand. I think he’s a very good competitor as well.”
The 13th seed Berrettini arrived in New York off disappointing first-round exits in Montreal and Cincinnati. The 26-year-old has started to find form, though, defeating Nicolas Jarry and Hugo Grenier in his first two matches. Berrettini holds a 14-4 record at the hard-court major, having reached the quarter-finals last year.
2) Medvedev’s Title Defence Mission: Medvedev has made a perfect start to his US Open title defence this week, cruising past Stefan Kozlov and Arthur Rinderknech in straight sets. The top seed, who defeated Novak Djokovic in the championship match last season, will look to improve his 22-4 record at the major when he faces history-maker Wu Yibing in the night session on Arthur Ashe stadium.
Prior to this week, no Chinese man had competed in the main draw at the US Open in the Open Era. Now they have a player in the third round after the 22-year-old became the first Chinese man to reach the third round at a Grand Slam since Kho Sin-Khie at Wimbledon in 1946.
With the odds stacked against him, Yibing will look to score a seismic upset against Medvedev, who is aiming to capture his second major title and second tour-level crown of the season after he triumphed in Los Cabos in August.
Better Together: Wu, Zhang Share US Open Honours
3) Cachin & Draper Look To Continue Runs: Argentine Pedro Cachin dropped to the floor after he edged American qualifier Brandon Holt in a fifth-set tie-break to reach the third round at a major for the first time. The 27-year-old qualifier, who is 52-15 across all levels this year, rallied from two-sets-to-love down to advance on debut in New York. Cachin, currently up to No. 58 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, will look to carry his momentum into his match against Frenchman Corentin Moutet.
#NextGenATP Briton Jack Draper’s standout season hit new heights on Wednesday when he upset sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets. The 20-year-old, who is currently fifth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Milan, will next face Karen Khachanov as he aims to reach the fourth round at a major for the first time.
“I’ve watched [Khachanov] a fair bit. A tough competitor. He’s physical,” Draper said when looking ahead to the match. “It’s going to be a really tough match. He’s been inside of the top 50 for a long time now. So in a Grand Slam, it’s going to be a physical match again.”
4) Kyrgios & Ruud Take To Court: Following his second-round win against Benjamin Bonzi, Nick Kyrgios admitted his mentality has changed this season. The Australian, who reached the final at Wimbledon and holds a 33-9 record on the season, revealed he has tried to reinvent himself this year in an attempt to rise to the top of the game again.
So far, it is a strategy that has worked well for the 23rd seed and one he will look to continue when he plays American J.J. Wolf for the first time in the third round on Louis Armstrong Stadium. A victory for Kyrgios will see him reach the fourth round at the US Open for the first time.
Casper Ruud could leave New York as No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings if results go his way over the next week. The Norwegian, who has never been beyond the third round in five previous appearances at the US Open, rallied past Tim Van Rijthoven in the second round and will now take on 29th seed Tommy Paul. The American eliminated countryman Sebastian Korda to reach the last 32.
5) Ram/Salisbury Headline Doubles Action: Last year’s champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury will look to capture their sixth consecutive win when they face Aslan Karatsev and Luke Saville in the second round. The American-British team lifted their third ATP Masters 1000 trophy as a team in Cincinnati last month, before they cruised past Federico Coria and Cristian Rodriguez in their opening match in New York.
Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski became the first team to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals following their first-round win in Flushing Meadows. The second seeds will play Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow, while third seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer will face Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi.