World No. 8 Matteo Berrettini expects an extremely tough clash when he meets No. 10 seed Andrey Rublev in the US Open round-of-16. On Saturday, No. 6 seed Berrettini saw off Norwegian Casper Ruud in straight sets 6-4 6-4 6-2. Berrettini and Rublev faced in the US Open round-of-16 last year, with the Italian winning easily in straight sets.
"I mean, it's going to be a rematch, same round. Like we said, different conditions, different US Open, but I think we are two different players now. "We improved a lot, both. I think he started the year like crazy, he won two tournaments in a row.
He achieved so much. He's been, like, improving every day, every week. "It's going to be really tough. I think he has great weapons. He's serving well. Forehand and backhand, they are great, like, weapons. Same time, he's moving good.
He can play on clay, on grass, on hard. "I mean, he already did, I think, once the quarterfinal here, so for sure he likes to play here in New York. Like I said, we know each other pretty well. It's going to be tough, because we know each other really well.
"But at the same time, we're going to find, like, new weapons, new ways to get the other one in trouble. "Yeah, I don't know if the tournament is going to agree with that. Fourth round there. I don't know.
I don't know. But why not? Would be great. Would be nice to hear him."
Berrettini to help out his friend
Berrettini's friend Giovanni Bartocci owned a restaurant in New York before it unfortunately burned down recently.
"In the bubble. I'm ordering food from Uber Eats or these kind of apps, having sometimes, how you call it, room service," Berrettini said, when asked from where does he get his food now. "I'm really sorry, no, of course because I can't go there for the virus, but I'm really sorry for this guy, because his restaurant was everything for him.
"So after, with Dan last year together I was going there every night after my match. And I'm really sorry, because he got a little bit bad luck twice for the, I mean, for the fire and for the virus. "So I'm really looking forward to try to help him maybe a little bit.
I don't know what we can do. He's struggling. I don't know if he's going to come back in Italy, but I'm really thankful that he's here. He's enjoying a little bit different this year. But he's a nice guy."