Matteo Berrettini Outlasts Monfils To Reach Maiden Grand Slam Semi-Final - UBITENNIS
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Matteo Berrettini Outlasts Monfils To Reach Maiden Grand Slam Semi-Final

Matteo Berrettini survived a last set tiebreak against Gael Monfils to reach his first ever grand slam semi-final.



Matteo Berrettini (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

Matteo Berrettini outlasted Gael Monfils 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-6(5) in a four hour battle to reach his first grand slam semi-final. 


In a great opportunity for both players, it was the Frenchman who played the better tennis in the first set as he fended off the Italian’s early power.

Playing well from both corners of the court, his defensive work was to be admired as he isolated Berrettini to the back of the court.

After a long sixth game, Monfils’ good work in the first set had its reward as he converted his second break point opportunity for the break.

Although it wasn’t a bad serving set from the Italian, his return game needed work as he failed to threaten the Monfils serve.

Another comfortable hold sealed the opening set for the experienced Frenchman in 33 minutes.

The momentum continued for Monfils in the second set as some powerful play saw an early break in the second set and a chance for a double break lead.

However Berrettini opted to change his tactical approach as he offered more slices and variety in an attempt to salvage the match.

A plan that worked to perfection as he managed to prevent the double break and get back on track in the second set with a break of his own.

More unforced errors started to appear in the 13th seed’s game as he couldn’t control his forehand in the latter stages of the second some.

Some big-hitting saw Berrettini power to another break of serve as he levelled the match up in a bid to reach his first grand slam semi-final.

As the conditions got more humid as the match went on, the more it favoured Berrettini as the Monfils looked mentally and physically tired.

Another couple of powerful winners sealed the early break as he was now the aggressor and dictating the tempo of the match.

After the roof closed at 4-2 to the Italian, he continued where he left the contest as Monfils’ serves were getting more and more conservative.

One more break and a hold of serve sealed the Italian’s control of the match as he was now one set away from the semi-finals.

Despite losing the fourth set, Monfils was determined to overturn the deficit and as per usual he was going to do it with the help of the crowd.

There was no more injection about his shots and his attitude as his positive energy helped him surge towards to a crucial break in the fourth game.

More clutch serving was also the key as Berrettini’s level slightly dropped and the Frenchman pounced to force a deciding match in front of the electric New York crowd.

The fifth set decided with a share of breaks as the match felt like it was on the Italian’s racket as he tried sometimes too hard to outhit Monfils.

Both men were desperate to land the crucial blow but it was the 33 year-old Frenchman who was too desperate at times and some uncharacteristic net rushing saw him concede the break to love.

Nerves would continue to play apart in this drama-filled contest though as Berrettini could barely serve on match point up and let a 5-2 lead slip within his grasp.

Another two match points had to be saved from the Frenchman as he somehow forced a final set tiebreak in dramatic circumstances.

A disastarous tiebreak filled with double faults and courageous play, which ended with the Italian being the bravest of them all as he edged past Monfils with a big serve.

One heck of a four hour battle sees Berrettini seal the biggest win of his career and a place in the last four of a grand slam for the first time.

After the match, Berrettini congratulated his opponent as he doesn’t remember much about the contest, “I don’t know. Right now I don’t remember any points, just the match point,” the Italian admitted.

“What a great fight. I would like to congrats to Gael and his team. When I was playing I was thinking that this was one of the best matches I have ever seen. I was playing, but I was watching also. I’m really Happy, I don’t know what to say.”

Next up for Berrettini is either Diego Schwartzman or Rafael Nadal.



Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day



Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.


Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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