It took five match points, but Matteo Berrettini finally put away Gaël Monfils Wednesday in an epic five-set victory at the US Open quarterfinals.
Berrettini, of Italy, looked poised to secure the victory on multiple occasions, but France’s Monfils repeatedly rallied and forced a tiebreak with a trip to the semifinals on the line.
Monfils forces tiebreak despite 3 double faults
Trailing 6-5 in the fifth set with the game tied at 30-30, Monfils double faulted to set up Berrettini with match point. It was his first double fault of the set. But Monfils gained his composure to retake game point, where he would double fault again.
His third double fault of the game once again set up Berrettini with match point. But Monfils rallied to win three consecutive points to force a tiebreak.
With both players clearly exhausted, Berrettini seized control of the tiebreak, taking a 4-1 lead. Monfils rallied once again to cut the deficit to 5-4 before Berrettini took a 6-4 lead to secure his fourth match point. Monfils cut the deficit to 6-5 with an ace, leaving Berettini serving for the match yet again.
Berrettini serves for victory on 5th match point
This time, there would be no rally, as Monfils’ return landed just long, prompting Berrettini to collapse on the court in celebration before meeting his adversary at the net for a hug.
Berrettini advanced to the semifinals with the 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) victory.
“Right now, I don’t remember any points,” Berrettini said during his on-court interview. “... What a great fight. I would like to say congrats to Gaël and his team.
“When I was playing, I was thinking, one of the best matches I ever maybe saw.”
He will face the winner between No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 20 Diego Schwartzman. It will be the first grand slam semifinal of Berrettini’s career.
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