For the second time in four years, the young Russian Andrey Rublev will compete in the US Open quarter-final. Andrey defeated the 6th seed and the last year's semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 42 minutes, achieving a career-high ranking and moving closer to the place in the top-10.
The Italian was among the players to beat after the opening three rounds, never losing serve and delivering fury from his initial shot and forehand. That wasn't the case today, though, spraying too many unforced errors while hitting the same number of winners as the Russian.
Matteo hit only five aces and it was Andrey who produced the more efficient numbers behind the first serve, fending off seven out of eight break chances and delivering four breaks to march over the top. The Russian found the rhythm after the opener, offering only one chance to the Italian in sets two, three and four to cross the finish line first.
Berrettini lost seven points in five service games of the opening set, keeping the pressure on Rublev and earning seven break chances. Andrey saved a break point in the first game before falling 2-1 behind when Matteo placed a forehand crosscourt winner for the first break.
Serving at 3-5, Andrey had to dig deep to fend off four set points, doing that before Matteo closed the set on own serve in game ten for a 6-4. Both players lost seven points behind the initial shot in set number two and it was the Russian who produced more efficient serving, sailing through his games and scoring his first break following a loose drop shot from Berrettini in game four.
Andrey secured the break with four booming serve a few minutes later, firing an ace in the seventh game to remain 5-2 in front. The Russian wrapped up the set with a service winner in game nine, leveling the overall score and gaining a massive boost ahead of set number three.
After 2017, Andrey Rublev will play in the second US Open quarter-final.
There, Rublev stormed over Berrettini in his games, dropping two points behind the initial shot and challenging rival to repeat that to stay in contention.
Matteo couldn't reach those numbers, though, suffering a break at love in game three and again at 3-5 while serving to stay in the set. Finding an incredible level on serve and doing enough damage on the return, Andrey held with a forehand winner in the fifth game of the fourth set, stealing Matteo's serve in the next game to open a 4-2 gap.
Rublev saved a break point in game seven when Berrettini's forehand let him down, sealing the deal with three winners at 5-3 to secure the quarter-final berth.