No one knows better compared to Matteo Berrettini that triumphant the primary set against Novak Djokovic doesn’t mean a lot.
Yet, even furnished with his direct involvement with the Wimbledon last, when simply a slight disappointment opened the entryway for a Djokovic assault, Berrettini couldn’t prevent history from rehashing the same thing Wednesday night in the U.S. Open quarterfinals. He was unable to stop history, period.
Berrettini, the eighth-positioned player on the planet, has been minimal in excess of a traffic cone this year for Djokovic while heading to a potential schedule Grand Slam — sufficiently commendable to be focused on, yet simple enough to explore around. For the third consecutive major, Djokovic confronted a difficult situation against the huge hitting Italian at the end of the day tackled him, this time winning 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
“Best three sets I’ve played – second, third and fourth – in the tournament so far,” Djokovic said. “I think I managed to raise the level of my tennis. When I dropped the first set, I just went to a different level and I stayed there till the last point. That’s something that definitely encourages me and gives me a lot of confidence.”
The success impels Djokovic into the elimination rounds, where he’s only two successes from coordinating with an accomplishment last refined by Rod Laver in 1969 of winning every one of the four Slams around the same time and furthermore grabbing the unequaled significant record of 21, which is at present imparted to his counterparts Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Sitting tight for him in the elimination rounds is Alexander Zverev, the 24-year old German who came extremely close to winning the U.S. Open a year prior and crushed Djokovic this late spring in the elimination rounds of the Tokyo Olympics.
“Against him you prepare that you have to play the best match that you can,” Zverev said Wednesday after advancing to the semifinals with a straight sets win over South Africa’s Lloyd Harris. “You have to be perfect, otherwise you will not win. Most of the time you can’t be perfect. That’s why most of the time people lose to him.”
For 60 minutes, 17 minutes, Berrettini was ideal enough with his enormous serve-large forehand mix to allow himself an opportunity. In the wake of breaking at 5-5 with a searing cross-court passing shot, Berrettini attracted four natural mistakes from Djokovic a tight assistance game to wrap up the principal set.
It was the third match in succession at this competition and ninth time this year in the Grand Slams that Djokovic has begun from behind, including when Berrettini won the primary arrangement of the Wimbledon last in a sudden death round. Yet, those matches have followed a recognizable example, with Djokovic promptly raising the level of his game and sorting out some way to separate his adversary.
“I was feeling good, playing good,” Berrettini said. “Just he has this ability – and probably that’s why he’s the best ever – just to step up his game, his level all the time. Doesn’t matter how well I play, he just plays better. He starts to return better, to serve better. Just couldn’t step up like he did. He deserved to win.”
Before Wednesday’s match, Djokovic considered Berrettini the “mallet of tennis,” and recognized that in the event that he served well it would be a troublesome match. In any case, Djokovic just necessities the smallest of openings to begin discovering shortcomings. At the point when those 130 mile each hour rockets quit discovering the assistance box with a similar recurrence as they did in the principal set, it permitted Djokovic to go to chip away at Berrettini’s strike, a shot he can just utilize truly to kill rallies with at least some expectations of in the end setting up a forehand.
Without the capacity to harm Djokovic at all from the strike wing either with his cut or his two-hander, Berrettini was playing in a sand trap. What’s more, as Djokovic settled in getting Berrettini’s large serves back in play — he wound up winning 40% of the focuses when he needed to return a first serve — the match degenerated rapidly into a feature reel of passing shots and flicked victors that on occasion made the Italian look senseless. Before the end, he was by all accounts telling the ball voluntarily, if by some stroke of good luck to offer him the chance to utilize his muscles and urge the Arthur Ashe Stadium swarm into a response on request.
“I know what my strengths are. I stick to them,” Djokovic said. “I’ve worked over the years to perfect my game so that my game can have literally no flaws. Every player has some weaknesses in his game. There’s always something you can improve. I want to have as complete of an all-around game as I possibly can so that when I’m playing someone I can adjust on any surface, I can come up with different styles of play, I can tactically implement the game that I need for that particular match in order to win.”
All things considered, Djokovic’s two hardest matches are as yet ahead in Zverev and possibly No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the last. To stop Djokovic in any large match, the customary way of thinking is that it’s important to get the lead and play from ahead.
However it’s most likely better than the other option, winning a first set from Djokovic hasn’t demonstrated to be especially hazardous for him. In this competition, it implies he’s simply getting ready.
“With him, it looks like he doesn’t care,” Berrettini said. “Actually he takes energy from that set that he lost. He’s used to it. There is not a lot you can do.”