Matteo Berrettini's path at the US Open began with a clear win against 29th seed Ugo Humbert. The Italian and the French had already faced each other twice in their careers, with the first direct clash taking place in Flushing Meadows in 2020.
Berrettini managed to do better and impose himself with an even tougher score, for 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. What made the difference was the Italian's ability to find his shots in moments of greatest tension. The former Wimbledon finalist allowed seven break points in the entire match, but never lost serve.
Excellent performance also in return by Berrettini, who always made himself dangerous and snatched the serve from his rival on five occasions.
The Italian will challenge another French tennis player, Arthur Rinderknech, in the second round.
The native of Gassin got rid of Diego Schwartzman in three sets.
Berrettini: "I'm happy"
Berrettini explained to Super Tennis: "It was a match full of pitfalls, above all because we know each other very well. I've already addressed it here.
He is a lefty tennis player and serves very well, so I knew I had to play a very good match against him. I'm happy. There were many games in which I fought and held my serve hard to not lose the lead break; it wasn't easy at all.
I felt I had a lot of chances in service: that's a very important thing for me. At the same time it is never easy. I am happy. I was trying not to give him too much angle in response. Obviously, sometimes, it's not easy to answer when you get service at 200 kilometers per hour.
In general I tried not to pace him with my backhand. He loses a little more with his forehand, it's always a balancing act." In the press conference after the victory, Berrettini added: "I'm rediscovering my mechanisms, I'm recognizing the situations I've experienced in the past even if it must be said that the years go by and now I'm a different person with more experience behind me, for good and in the bad.
First Grand Slam semifinal in New York? Remembering is beautiful and I think it's the secret of what I did at Wimbledon and that helped me face this debut today. It's like looking in the mirror, it's my seventh US Open as a professional, the years go by but I'm always here.
I think it's a strength… despite everything, despite the big blows I've taken now I'm here and I'm having fun. When I walk in here I recognize myself, and that's okay."
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