Australian Open 2022: Just like Shapovalov’s fought back against Nadal, Gael Monfils fired his way back into the game but the Italian held his nerves for an epic, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2 win.
“It feels unbelievable,” Berrettini said in his on-court interview. “I am really happy for myself. What a great fight against Gael. It was a great match with a lot of emotions. I thought I had him in the third set and then I found myself in the fifth. But I really fought hard and put everything on the court and that is why I am really happy.”
The seventh seed, Matteo Berrettini, was playing very aggressive tennis for large periods. His forehand skills were very strong against the Frenchman who is athletic.
The Italian blasted 50 winners and rallied in the decider after Monfils tighten up his screws in the third and fourth sets to seal the game after three hours and 48 minutes.
“I was just focused on winning the match,” Berrettini said. “I had a couple of breakpoints [in the third set] and I couldn’t take them and tennis is like this. It happened with Alcaraz as well. I was leading and then they start to play better.”
The first was strong from the Italian as he played well inside the baseline to counter Monfils athletism with his powerful groundstrokes. Despite his impressive movement, the Frenchman was unable to stay with World No. 7, who committed just five unforced errors to move ahead.
After gaining the first set winning momentum, Berrettini survived a 20-minute game where he was faced with three breakpoints. With his foot down, the Italian got a break at 3-3 to take control of the second set.
The Italian managed to deal with the variety of pace Monfils offered in the first two sets, but the Frenchman started to take the game to Berrettini in the third set, swinging freely to win the set as he changed the momentum of the match.
Gael Monfils continued his dominating play in the fourth set as well, hitting with more spin to force the Italian back. However, Matteo was not the one to be beaten as he took the first four games in the decider.
He then held his nerve on serve to earn his second fifth-set victory against Monfils, having triumphed in five against the Frenchman in the last eight at the US Open in 2019.