NEW YORK – Mateo Berretini reached the US Open semifinals after nearly four exhausting hours, overcoming some nervous moments at the end to beat Gael Monfils 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5) on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old Italian finally closed it in his fifth game – long after doubling his first chance – in 3 hours 57 minutes.
"One of the best matches I've seen. I played, but I watched," Berrettini said with a smile.
It began in foggy conditions and ended with the gated roof of Arthur Ash Stadium after the rain arrived during the third set.
It seems that a short break is in favor of Montfils, who is 10 years older and has leaned on his rocket or wiped sweat from his feet between points. He won the fourth set, but did not have enough in the final of the match, whose final set took 68 minutes.
Berrettini could have made it easier, but for the first time in a match with twice less wine, a poor second serve in the net on his first match point at 5-4.
"I was like that, a little tight," he said during his post-match interview.
24th seeder Berrettini advanced to his first Grand Slam Semi-Finals, where he will face No. 2 Rafael Nadal or No. 20 Diego Schwartzman. Berretini became only the second Italian to reach the final four of the US Open after Corrado Barazzutti in 1
Nadal, who won three of his 18 major Flushing Meadows titles, will play in his 40th Grand Final Slam career-high, He is 7-0 against Schwartzman.
The semifinals of the other men have already been determined, as No. 5 Daniel Medvedev will face Grigor Dimitrov, who eliminates the five-time US Open Federer champion on Tuesday. Vavrinka defeated top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, in the fourth round before losing to Medvedev.