Matteo Berrettini knows better than anyone that beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets is far from a sure thing.
Berrettini lost to Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open quarterfinals on Wednesday night, despite having firsthand experience of the Wimbledon final.
In which even a minor setback opened the door for a Djokovic onslaught. No matter what he did, he couldn’t halt time.
Djokovic’s path to a possible calendar Grand Slam has been impeded this year by Berrettini, the eighth-ranked player in the world who is worthy enough to be noticed but easy to navigate around.
Djokovic had some difficulty against the hard-hitting Italian for the third consecutive major, but he prevailed in the end, winning 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
US Open Tennis: Novak Djokovic Beats Matteo Berrettini, Closes In On True Slam
Even when trailing in best-of-five set matches—something that has happened to Novak Djokovic multiple times at the U.S. Open.
He remains calm and composed. Extra Tennis Reports. We haven’t faced any opponents or stakes that we couldn’t manage.
To put it bluntly, not yet. And with two more victories, he’ll have the first calendar-year Grand Slam for a male tennis player since 1969 and a men’s record 21st major title.
Returning with intent, Djokovic found every angle, blocked every massive Berrettini shot, and was so engrossed.
That he tumbled and dropped his racket during one exchange, but quickly scrambled, rose, and reinserted himself into the game.
Even though he was unable to articulate what he was trying to tell his opponent, it was clear that he was saying “I will do whatever it takes.”
The Matches at French Open and Wimbledon Each Lasted Four Sets
In light of the fact that neither of his previous two Grand Slam tournament matches had been easy (lasting four sets each), Berrettini planned to use his formidable serve to give his opponent a run for their money.
With that serve, he was able to pull through a tense sixth game in the opening set that went to deuce and placed himself in a position.
Where a break would give him the advantage. He converted his fourth break point to go up 6-5 and went on to win the set easily on his serve.
Djokovic had previously dropped the first set in his matches against Kei Nishikori and Jenson Brooksby, making this the third consecutive match in which he had done so.
On Monday, Novak Djokovic overcame American Jenson Brooksby to move within three matches of completing the first men’s calendar-year Grand Slam in 52 years.
Djokovic defeated Brooksby, ranked 99th in the world, in four sets (1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2) to advance to the quarterfinals and a rematch with Wimbledon champion and Italian sixth seed Matteo Berrettini.