Australian Open 2022: Matteo Berrettini wrestles Gael Monfils and follows Rafael Nadal to the semifinals

Berrettini, who only converted his third match point after 12:30 a.m. local time in Melbourne, is the first Italian ever to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open. Overall, he’s in the last four at a major for the third time.

“I’m very proud of myself, what a fight. In the third set I thought I already had it, then suddenly we were in the fifth. I left everything on the court,” said an exhausted winner afterwards in the on-court interview .

Berrettini had dominated the match in the first two sets and has held his serve perfectly so far, opening the world number 20. in the third set but the door back into the match.

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Berrettini admitted that he had already dreamed of the semifinals during the game: “Of course you think about it. I also had some breakballs that I couldn’t convert, but that’s tennis,” said the 25-year-old.

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Monfils also secured set four, drawing the audience more and more to his side. But when at the beginning of the fifth set there was much to be said for the 35-year-old’s victory, Berrettini turned up the heat again. The seventh in the world rankings got two breaks and a total of four wins in a row. A blow to the neck from which Monfils should not recover.

Even a few rowdy fans, who caused an interruption in the decision-making process and were expelled from the Rod Laver Arena, didn’t bother the Italian anymore. After 3:52 hours, Berrettini converted his third match point.

“He has built up this aura that you can never write him off, not even in the fifth sentence,” said Eurosport expert Boris Becker: “That’s why he was mentally stronger and deservedly won in five sets.”

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Becker: “Advertising for tennis”

However, the two-time Australian Open winner also praised the defeated Monfils’ fighting spirit: “It was advertising for tennis, two real gladiators left their hearts on the court here.”

Wimbledon finalist Berrettini was the only player to reach at least the quarterfinals in the four different Grand Slam tournaments most recently.

Curious about it: At the French Open, in Wimbledon and at the US Open, the 25-year-old Roman failed at Djokovic after he was injured and unable to compete against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the round of 16 at the Australian Open last year.

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In the semifinals he now meets 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, who was also able to defeat Denis Shapovalov in five sets.

On Wednesday, with Jannik Sinner, a second Italian has the chance to make it into the last four. The 20-year-old meets fourth in the world rankings Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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The Australian Open 2022 live on free TV on Eurosport 1 and all games on Eurosport with Joyn+!

Men – Quarterfinals:

  • G. Monfils (FRA / 17) – M. Berrettini (ITA / 7) 6: 4, 6: 4, 3: 6, 3: 6, 6: 2
  • R. Nadal (ESP/6) – D. Shapovalov (CAN/14) 6:3, 6:4, 4:6, 3:6, 6:3
  • J. Sinner (ITA / 11) – S. Tsitsipas (GRE / 4)
  • F. Auger-Aliassime (CAN/9) – D. Medvedev (RUS/2)
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