Tennis news • Murray sets up Berrettini meeting at US Open, Medvedev and Kyrgios remain on collision course


Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts against Emilio Nava of the United States during their US Open second round victory. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

The first three days of the US Open produced all sorts of wild fives on the men’s side. And on the women’s side, of course, Serena Williams is the star of the tournament and everyone in the sport.

Yes, for three days the US Open 2022 was great, no matter how Novak Djokovic fans might try to pretend otherwise. But you can’t help but stare ahead and think it could get even better.

Just look at a third-round matchup that’s already set: Matteo Berrettini versus Andy Murray. A rematch of Stuttgart’s title tilt (won by the Italian) would be worthy of something like a US Open quarter-final. One of the two, however, will be released before Labor Day weekend.

Murray and Berrettini avoided elimination on Wednesday, but not without some minor hiccups. Murray dropped the first set of his second-round match against Emilio Nava, while Berrettini needed four sets and two tiebreakers to pass Hugo Grenier.

“My body reacts well to matches,” said the 35-year-old Scotsman. “I got away with it pretty well. [my first-round match]. So obviously today I think that physically I was stronger than him at the end of the match, which is really very positive. My game improved as the match progressed. My movement around the pitch is good right now. I feel like it’s not that easy for the guys to hit the winners in front of me and I’m defending a lot better in the corners than I did 12 months ago here. I don’t have to worry about, you know, waking up the next day with something that’s going to really affect me or hinder my tennis.

This is good news before a confrontation with Berrettini.

Italian Matteo Berrettini is a former US Open semi-finalist. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES

“I played him earlier in the year in Stuttgart and it was a very close match,” explained Murray. “He was very unlucky this year. I talked about it on the pitch. He obviously had COVID at Wimbledon when he entered it, having won both warm-up tournaments. I don’t know exactly what the (previous) problem was, his hand or his wrist, when he started the year I think pretty well. So he was unhappy with some of these things.

“He was at the top of the game for a number of years, and now he’s very consistent. He’s a big server who usually delivers a pretty high percentage of serves, so (that) always makes it hard to break and is always in the game because of that. It’s not just a big service, however. It has a good sliced ​​backhand; he has a big forehand. I think he is also a very good competitor. (It won’t be) easy.

Daniil Medvedev and Nick Kyrgios are set to face another not-so-easy draw. It’s not done yet, but they’re just one win apiece away from a possible fourth-round affair after taking care of their respective matches on Wednesday night. Medvedev routed Arthur Rinderknech after Kyrgios held off Benjamin Bonzi in a close four-way.

Yes, tennis has been good before. But we’re just getting started!

Ricky contributes to and also runs its own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.

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