Three factors which stood out in Matteo Berrettini’s win over Andy Murray in the third round at the US Open

13th seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy beat Andy Murray of Great Britain 6-4 6-4 6-7 6-3 in the third round match at the US Open. The 26-year-old Italian will next face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the fourth round. The 35-year-old Murray fought well, but ended up being the second best to the big-serving Italian. We take a look at three factors which stood out in the match:

1. Berrettini high level early on

Berrettini served well from the very beginning and it was evident quite early that Murray would have to return really well to break his serve. The Italian got the only break of the first set in the seventh game and then held his serve in his two subsequent games to love each to win the first set. Berrettini then made a great start to the second set by breaking Murray’s serve in the first game itself, but the Brit broke back in the subsequent game.

Berrettini then broke the Briton to love in the ninth game and held his serve to love once again to win the set. There were a lot of crosscourt backhand exchanges in the first two sets as Berrettini often played backhand slices to take the pace off the ball and then hit inside-in and inside-out forehands in the next shot. The strategy worked well as the Italian managed to hit through Murray with his forehand.

2. Berrettini’s struggle to convert breakpoints

Neither player could break serve in the third set as it went into a tiebreak. Berrettini had eight break point opportunities in the set, but could not convert any of them. Had he been more clinical during key points, the Italian could have finished the match in the third set itself.

However, to Murray’s credit, he played well during key moments in the third set and dominated the tiebreak to pull one back. Murray played the angles well to move the Italian from side to side and also rushed the net frequently to finish off points. He also started to play the inside-out forehand more often instead of always relying on his backhand.

3. Berrettini’s strong finish

Murray started the fourth set well to break the Italian in the first game of it. However, Berrettini broke back in the next game to draw level and then broke again in the eighth game to lead 5-3. He then served out the set to win the match in a convincing manner.

Berrettini had served well throughout the fourth set and offered the Briton no respite with his powerful forehand. Berrettini hit 55 winners in the match, including 18 aces, against Murray’s 24. He also broke the Brit five times in the match and won 74% of the points on his first serve against Murray’s 68%. Now it remains to be seen whether the Italian is able to carry on his good from against Davidovich Fokina in his next match at the US Open.

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images