From the excessive power of the first two sets to the roller coaster and the fear of retort in the fifth: the story of Matteo’s five sets against Alcaraz
A great Matteo Berrettini flies to the round of 16 of the Australian Open beating Carlos Alcaraz at the super tie break of the fifth set: 6-2 7-6 4-6 2-6 7-6 the final score.
The first set
The beginning is all uphill for Matteo, less explosive than the Spaniard who instead enters the field full of loads. Alcaraz keeps the serve at zero and in the first two rounds of Berrettini’s service he reaches the break point five times, four times in the second game and once in the fourth. Berrettini, on the other hand, is a diesel, he starts slow and heats up only after having held two very long rounds of 12 points each. But after the ace scored by Matteo, the first of the match to cancel the break point of the fourth game, the blue climbs into the chair, slips 7 consecutive games and goes on to lead 6-2 2-0.
Second set: Berrettini’s lunge
Inertia drags him forward until 4-2, then Alcaraz returns to make a big voice, Matteo suffers and can not help but take refuge in the tie break. The Spaniard, however, commits a double fault for the first mini break and in a flash Berrettini finds himself at 6-1 with 5 set points at his disposal. Alcaraz cancels the first with an attack and the second with a straight swing for the 6-3. But with a first to go out and a crossed forehand, Berrettini closes the set and climbs two sets to zero.
Alcaraz reaction: 2-1
In the third Matteo tries to put his rival on the ropes and twice gets 0-30 on the Spaniard’s serve: in the second game and then on 4-3. But Alcaraz resists, then on 4 all he breaks and extends the game to the fourth showing the same attitude shown in the first four games of the match.
The collapse of Berrettini: 2-2
Berrettini is no longer in control of the match, he struggles to move sideways, especially on the left side of the pitch and the serve does not support him that much. On 2 all comes the break in favor of the Spaniard who runs fast to bring the game to the fifth.
Berrettini fear and joy: 3-2
Here on 1-1 Matteo successfully faces a very delicate break ball, he revives and in the following game it is the Roman tennis player who sees the break ball for the first time from the first game of the second set. But Alcaraz does not give up and impacts his rival on 2 equal. Four games in a row end up with the advantages, but the balance does not break. At 5-6, however, Alcaraz is mad, gives up the smash and puts out a straight swing to offer Matteo a very valuable match point.
The Spaniard, however, puts a very deep second, cancels the chance and harpoons the tie break. Berettini immediately goes under a break, unable to keep up with the frenzied pace of the Spaniard who, however, immediately returns it by putting the backhand out of the service on the net. The match exceeds 4 hours of play and Matteo holds two very important batting rounds for the 3-2. You change the field on 3 all then Alcaraz puts a first winner for 4-3.
Service and straight for the blue for the 4 all, then wrong answer from Alcaraz and 5-4 for the Italian. Alcaraz sticks for the 6-4, then Berrettini puts in a long recovery, but keeps his two rounds of serve to go up 8-5. Alcaraz puts out a forehand and Matteo sees four more consecutive match points. The first is enough for him when the Spaniard commits the decisive double fault for the final 10-5.
For Berrettini it is the eighth presence in the round of 16 of a Grand Slam that he faces with a balance of 3 games won, 2 lost and 2 not played due to withdrawal. Matteo passed the round of 16 at the 2019 United States Open (6-1 6-4 7-6 in Rublev), at Wimbledon 2021 (6-4 6-3 6-1 in Ivashka) and at the US Open 2021 (6 -4 3-6 6-3 6-2 to Otte); lost against Roger Federer (6-1 6-2 6-2) at Wimbledon 2019 and against Rublev (4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3) at the US Open 2020: he did not play the eighth at the Australian Open 2021 against Stefanos Tsitsipas and for the resignation of Federer the eighth final at Roland Garros 2021.
January 21, 2022 (change January 21, 2022 | 12:18)
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