World No. 8 Matteo Berrettini spoke highly of riding Russian star Andrey Rublev following their US Open round-of-16 clash. Rublev, ranked at No. 14 in the world, delivered a big performance against Berrettini as he recovered from a set down to best the Italian 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3.
Rublev, who was beaten by 19-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the 2017 US Open quarterfinal, is now through to his second quarterfinal at the moment. Berrettini, who made his maiden Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open last year, failed to have the same success at the tournament this year.
Rublev got off to a fast start to the season, winning back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide. "I think a lot of things, not big obviously. When you get to this level, there are not really big things, especially for a player like him.
I think he's returning better, serving better. His forehand and backhand are more heavy," Berrettini said of Rublev. "I mean, I knew every time that I play him that he was improving every time that we play each other, playing better and better, like I said, after I won against Ruud.
I was ready to find him in these conditions especially after he started so well. "I think everything, he improved everything a little bit. Today he was just better than me."
Berrettini says tough to predict a winner
2 Nadal and record 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer opted against playing the US Open, while No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic was defaulted from his round-of-16 match against Pablo Carreno Busta after hitting the lines women.
No. 2 seed Dominic Thiem now appears to be the biggest favorite to claim his maiden Grand Slam title. Daniil Medvedev, who ended runner-up at the US Open last year, is also a strong candidate. Berrettini thinks Rublev also stands a chance.
"I mean, I really think that everyone can win the tournament. I think my spot is pretty tough, like all the spots. I saw now that Daniil is playing. He's two sets up. If he's going to win, it's going to be a tough quarterfinal," Berrettini said.
"I saw Thiem playing against Felix. He was looking good. "There are a lot of players that are playing really well. I don't know who's going to win. Andrey for sure has a lot of chances."