Matteo Berrettini and Andrey Rublev will meet in the fourth round of the US Open for the second consecutive year after both men cruised through their third-round matches on Saturday afternoon.
Berrettini bulldozed through 30th seed Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and two minutes. Last year, Ruud won the pair’s only previous ATP Head2Head meeting in straight sets at Roland Garros.
This was a different Berrettini, though. The Italian broke through in the middle of last season, reaching the US Open semi-finals and qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals. On the quick Flushing Meadows hard courts, he had too much firepower for Ruud to handle. Baseline-bruiser Berrettini repeatedly pummeled the ball, giving him a 40-12 edge in winners against his 21-year-old opponent.
The sixth seed has not lost a set this tournament and he will try to extend his 3-1 series lead against Rublev.
Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence/USTA
The Russian was ruthless en route to a 6-0, 6-4, 6-0 victory against Salvatore Caruso, advancing to the fourth round of the US Open for the third time.
“I was quite happy with my performance today that I was quite focussed, that I didn’t really give a chance to my opponent to come back,” Rublev said. “In the second set he came back, but then I played again one good game at 5-4… [From] the beginning of the third set until the end of the match I was completely focussed.”
The big-hitting Russian broke the Italian’s serve eight times, crushing 35 winners to only 15 unforced errors in his one-hour, 24-minute victory. Like Berrettini, Rublev has not lost a set through three matches in Flushing Meadows.
Caruso did well to reach the third round of the US Open on his tournament main draw debut, but he could not find any solutions to get the 10th seed off his aggressive game. The World No. 100 managed to win just 50 per cent of his first-serve points. Rublev put pressure on Caruso with his powerful baseline game and he also hit 17 aces.
Rublev has experience making deep runs at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. In 2017, when he was 19, Rublev became the youngest US Open quarter-finalist since Andy Roddick in 2001. The Russian will try to reach the last eight and gain revenge against Berrettini, who won their New York clash in straight sets a year ago.
“I think maybe I was more under pressure [last year]. Last year [he made the] semi-finals, so now I have no pressure. He has all the pressure,” Rublev said. “We’ll see how it’s going to be, but for sure I hope it’s going to be [an] interesting match and I hope people will enjoy watching it.”
Did You Know?
Rublev won his first 11 matches of the 2020 season, capturing titles in Doha and Adelaide. The Russian became the first player to win titles in the first two weeks of the year since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004.