Matteo Berrettini and Carlos Alcaraz met in the Australian Open third round. The 7th and 31st seeds produced a cracker at Rod Laver Arena, with the Italian prevailing 6-2, 7-6, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 after winning the deciding match tie break 10-5.
Both players took 159 points, and Alcaraz made an incredible comeback to push a better-ranked opponent to the limits. Carlos seized four out of 13 break points, and Matteo delivered five three breaks from eight opportunities.
Berrettini played better in the shortest points up to four strokes, and Alcaraz erased the deficit in the more extended ones. The deciding set saw no breaks of serve, and the more experienced Italian controlled the pace in the match tie break to survive and advance into the last 16.
Matteo saved a break point in the opening set fourth game and held for 2-2.
Matteo Berrettini prevailed over Carlos Alcaraz at the Australian Open.
The young gun sprayed a forehand error in game five to lose serve and fall behind.
Berrettini broke again in game seven and held at love at 5-2 to wrap up the opener in 39 minutes. Matteo forced Carlos' mistake at the start of the second set to grab a break and extend his streak. Alcaraz raised his level and broke back in game eight to gain confidence.
Both players served well in the remaining games, and Berrettini claimed the tie break 7-3 to forge a massive two sets to love advantage after an hour and a half. Carlos bounced back and broke at 4-4 in the third set, forcing the rival's mistake on his serve to claim the set 6-4 and extend the battle.
The Spaniard blasted a forehand down the line winner at 2-2 in the fourth game to grab a break and gain a massive boost. A forehand return winner sent Carlos 5-2 in front, and he landed a volley winner in game eight to clinch the set in style and force a decider.
Alcaraz saved a match point at 5-6 in the final set to introduce a match tie break and gain confidence. Matteo stayed calm and overpowered the young gun from the baseline at 5-4 to build the advantage. The Italian fired a forehand winner for 8-5 and created four match points after the rival's forehand mistake. Carlos hit a double fault at 5-9 to finish on the losing side and propel the opponent over the top.