Berrettini outlasts Monfils at US Open

Matteo Berrettini

Matteo Berrettini

Berrettini, the 24th seed, matched Corrado Barazzutti's run to the last four in 1977 after outlasting 13th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5) in three hours and 57 minutes.

"I'm really happy, I don't what know to say", said Berrettini, who blew a 5-2 lead in the final set and four match points before finally seeing off Monfils in a thriller at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

As the last of the "big three" still standing, Nadal knows he has a golden opportunity to take a huge step towards overhauling Federer's record of 20 grand slam titles.

Diego Schwartzman may have been the smallest player in 25 years to reach the US Open quarter-finals but gave Rafael Nadal a big fight and forced the Spaniard to grind out a 6-4 7-5 6-2 win on Wednesday to reach the last four at Flushing Meadows. She takes on No. 13 Belinda Bencic on Thursday, when the other semifinal is Serena Williams against No. 5 Elina Svitolina.

Dimitrov won a five-setter Tuesday night against Federer, who was hampered by an issue with his upper back.

A year ago, it was Nadal whose body broke down: He retired from his semifinal against runner-up Juan Martin del Potro because of a bad knee.

Ultimately, the world No 2 came through the test in straight sets.

Then a few games later, Nadal was sat on his chair stretching out his other arm.

Second seed Nadal - the victor at Flushing Meadows in 2010, 2013 and 2017 - plays Schwartzman in the night session at Arthur Ashe Stadium and is the unquestionable favorite as the only former champion left in the men's field. "Olé!" by an audience that included former San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili.

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Nadal jumped out to a hot start, picking up an instant 4-0 lead in the first set. They've been speaking on the phone before and after every match.

"He told me, 'I need to thank you, because I thought that everyone is born once and dies once. He's a close friend and I hope to play a great match". "I collapsed and got back up". I was down then I came back.

"Sometimes under this conditions it's tough, but honestly I'm happy I had some critical moments at the end of the second and beginning of the third".

In truth, the denouement was hardly a thing of beauty, with both men, clearly spent, fighting themselves and the tension of the moment as much as the guy on the other side of the net.

Berrettini double-faulted away his initial match point and then needed four more to finally put away Monfils after almost four hours. He served for the second set twice but Schwartzman managed to break him back on both occasions only to lose his serve 5-6 down to lose another set in disappointing fashion.

"A very bad day for me, serving", Monfils said.

It all was a bit of a whir.

"I accepted the challenge and just kept going point by point".

Berrettini finally knocked out the No.13 seed on his fifth match point after double-faulting away his first chance long before that.

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