Matteo Berrettini endured a pulsating match against Gael Monfils to enter the singles semi-finals at the 2019 US Open with a difficult but satisfying win on Wednesday.
After Bencic had advanced to the semi-final following her win against Donna Vekic, Gael Monfils looked like he was in a hurry to do the same against Berrettini. He took the first set and was a break up in the second before the tide turned.
The Italian broke back to level the set at 2-2 before winning another game off Monfils’ serve. That was the turnaround that Berrettini needed, and he went from strength to strength from there, stunning the New York crowd with some dazzling strokes.
He took the third set as well by which time the momentum had truly shifted but Monfils, watched on by his girlfriend, Elina Svitolina, who is already in the women’s semi-finals, shifted gears and took the fourth.
Berrettini, who became only the fourth Italian to make the US Open semi-finals, exchanged breaks in the fifth with Monfils but when he broke again to go 4-2 and then 5-3 up, the writing seemed to be on the wall for Monfils.
The Frenchman, undeterred, fought back to take advantage of the Berrettini nerves by breaking him in the ninth game and then served to level the score at 5-5. The 24th seeded Italian had two more match-points on Monfils’ serve at 6-5 but failed to convert either and the match went into the final set tie-breaker.
Any sign of nerves from Berrettini dissipated as he took a 5-2 lead in the tie-breaker as Monfils struggled with his serve – dishing out a couple of double-faults on the way. A booming Berrettini serve finished off the match for him and he will now take on either Nadal and Schwartzman in the semi-final.