After Musetti, the number 1 in the world also extends the Roman beaten in four sets by the Serbian in a state of grace. And now Nole finds Nadal
It took an excellent Novak Djokovic to successfully repel Matteo Berrettini’s assault in the race to the Roland Garros semifinals. To reach Nadal was the Serbian who beat the blue 6-3 6-2 6-7 7-5 in a match that did not betray the expectations. The conditions for the challenge to be balanced and of excellent level were all there, including the first games in which Berrettini made sparks and the Serbian struggled to find the right rhythm. Berrettini’s first two winning shots in the match were two short balls, then the Roman broke through Nole with the forehand, immediately obtaining a break point when, on a weightless ball, the Serbian hit the backhand. The chance, however, was immediately canceled by the number 1 in the world who placed two aces and a winning service. Matteo, with personality, kept his first bat at zero and in the third game he faced the break point again that Nole canceled with a forehand blow. In the fourth game Matteo hit two straight shots badly out of the serve and conceded the first break point which he canceled with the serve; but on the second chance the blue top ten still made a mistake with the forehand and slowly plunged into the underworld. Under 4-2, Matteo still had a break point but, called to the net by Nole, he failed to finalize the short ball and the Serbian went up comfortably 5-2 before closing a set that was still fought (six games out of nine finished to the advantages) for 6-3. From this moment on Nole played at an unsustainable pace, while Berrettini missed an avalanche of short balls or steals on the Serbian’s short ball. Lost the set in 52 minutes, the blue sank in the second set two more times; on 2 all (passer of the Serbian) and on 2-4 (still wrong short ball) and after just an hour and a half of play he found himself in the abyss, forced to recover two sets of disadvantage.
In the third set Berrettini held up well until 4 all, then offered a break point which he canceled with a comfortable net closure before hoisting himself 5-4 and forcing Djokovic to climb to the tie break. Here the game has risen further level, Berrettini has played three magnificent points by changing the field on 3 all. Then he threw a bolide straight down the line that left Nole stunned for the 4-3 minibreak. Matteo, however, put in the corridor yet another short ball for the 4 all and Nole played a winning answer between his feet to climb 5-4 with two services available. However, Nole’s legs did not assist him and the Serbian scored a forehand for the 5 all and a backhand for the blue set point. Berrettini without trembling put in a good first and then closed with a straight blow. In the fourth Berrettini continued to play well and at 3-2 in his favor, to allow the public to respect the curfew and go home, the game was suspended. Upon returning, despite serving cold, Matteo climbed to 40-15 but then made three free mistakes and at the exact entrance in the fourth hour of play he canceled a break ball with an anomalous long line straight pulled with his feet far out of the field . Matteo was saved and was lucid to find his first serve when he got ready to serve at 4-5 to stay in the match. But when he served under 5-6, he had to cling to the forehand and the serve to save, to the advantages, a match point with a first to leave uncontrolled by the Serbian. Matteo’s backhand on the net offered Nole a second match point which he canceled again with a forehand. The tape mocked Matteo for the third match point that Nole transformed at the end of 3 hours and 28 minutes of battle. On Friday Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will face each other for the 58th time with a place up for grabs for the final of Roland Garros. The other will be played by Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev with the Greek leading 5-2 in the precedents.
June 9, 2021 (change June 10, 2021 | 00:12)
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