‘At his age I didn’t even have an ATP point!’ Matteo Berrettini survives Carlos Alcaraz test, beats him in a 5-set thriller to reach the Fourth Round of 2022 Australian Open

Matteo Berrettini survives a stern test from Spanish teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz in the third round of the 2022 Australian Open.

Matteo Berrettini and Carlos Alcaraz
Matteo Berrettini and Carlos Alcaraz

In probably the match of the tournament so far, Italian seventh seed Matteo Berrettini won the battle of ‘big-hitters’ by beating Spanish 18-year old Carlos Alcaraz in a five-set thriller on Rod Laver Arena. The Italian won the match with a dramatic score line of 6-2,7-6(3),4-6,2-6,7-6(5) to book a Round of 16 post.

The match started with Alcaraz dominating the rallies. He served well and took the first six points of the match. He even had multiple break points in the second game but couldn’t convert. After 4 intense games, they were levelled at 2-2 and that’s when Berrettini stepped up. The Italian served much better and took advantage of Alcaraz’s unforced errors. He soon took a double break’s lead and won the set 6-2.

Despite hitting winners time to time, too many unforced errors in his service game cost him in the second set too. Berrettini held his serve to perfection but Alcaraz too stepped up towards the end in the set. They eventually played a tie breaker where the Italian showed his experience to clinch it and take a 2 sets lead.

It looked all over for Alcaraz as Berrettini served to near perfection in the third set. But a lapse in concentration from the Italian on his service game cost him as Alcaraz broke him. The 18-year old got the momentum he needed and forced a fourth set by winning the third 6-4.

The Spaniard carried the momentum into the fourth set and after a couple of long games, broke Berrettini’s serve to take the lead. He managed to get another break and won the set 6-2. The fifth set was probably the most competitive one. Alcaraz looked better physically but Berrettini too held his serve beautifully. Both players were pumped up and tested each other to their absolute limit.

The set eventually went into a 10-point match tiebreak were a couple of poor forehand errors cost Alcaraz. Berrettini used his experience to hold his nerve and eventually win the match.

Berrettini lauds Alcaraz’s effort

Matteo Berrettini
Matteo Berrettini

In the post match interview, Jim Courier straight away questioned Berrettini about Alcaraz’s level. The Italian praised Alcaraz and said that he didn’t even have an ATP point at his age!

“He’s amazing! I think at his age I didn’t even have an ATP point. So yeah, he’s impressive. He can only improve. By playing matches like this, he showed his potential. Luckily I won today but a big congratulation to him,” Berrettini said.

He further analyzed the match and pointed out his shortcomings. “In my mind I was feeling confident. In the third set, there were a couple of games where I was 30-0 and I felt that the momentum was on my side but then, tennis! I got broken and in the fourth set, my energy wasn’t up to the mark but then when I started the fifth set, I thought of righting for every point,” he said.

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