January 23, 2022
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – World number seven Matteo Berrettini defeated Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5 7-6(4) 6-4 on Sunday to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time.
Berrettini, coming off a marathon five-set win over Carlos Alcaraz, showed no signs of fatigue as he struck 57 winners including 28 aces against Carreno Busta on a warm evening at Rod Laver Arena.
Berrettini has now reached the quarter-finals at all four Grand Slams, becoming only the 10th active player to achieve the feat.
“I was really precise. I think he (Carreno Busta) wasn’t reading my serve and that’s why I did a lot of aces,” Berrettini said.
“When my serve is working, it’s always good for my tennis.”
Berrettini broke Carreno Busta in the 11th game of the opening set after two successive net cords went his way. The Italian saved a break-point in the next game before firing some big serves to wrap up the first set.
Berrettini dominated on his serve in the second set and won the tiebreaker with the help of three aces.
Carreno Busta showed fight in the contest but could not match Berrettini, who won 87% of points on his first serve and wrapped up the match in two hours and 22 minutes.
Berrettini, who withdrew from his fourth-round match at Melbourne Park last year due to an abdominal injury, will face Gael Monfils in the last eight after the Frenchman defeated Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic.
The 25-year-old beat Monfils in a five-set thriller at the U.S. Open in 2019 to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.
“It was a really tough match and I think the emotions were all over the place for me and him (Monfils),” Berrettini said.
“I always remember that match with a smile but I know it’s going to be a different match this time.
“He’s playing good, I’m feeling good, so for sure, it’s going to be a fight, we know each other pretty well.”
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)