US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini admits he has been surprised by his run through to the last four at Flushing Meadows. The Italian had never previously won a match at the final Grand Slam of the year, but he overcame the likes of Richard Gasquet and Andrey Rublev before claiming a five-set triumph over Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals.
Berrettini has certainly enjoyed a breakthrough season on the ATP Tour, claiming two of his three titles this year, while he also broke into the top-20 of the world rankings for the first time before reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon. However, the 23-year-old was not thinking about making it through to the semi-finals of the US Open when he arrived in New York just a couple of weeks ago. “It’s my first semis. I never won a match here in the US Open, so it’s my second year in the main draw,” Berrettini told reporters.
“I didn’t expect that. I’m pretty, I don’t know, excited for that.” Standing between Berrettini and a first Grand Slam final is Rafael Nadal, who is chasing his fourth title in New York. The Spaniard, who is an 18-time Grand Slam winner, will start the match as the overwhelming favourite, but Berrettini insists he will be ready for the challenge that awaits him at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“If you’re asking me if I’m not ready for the next match, I would say no,” Berrettini added. “I mean, I will be ready, but you have to enjoy what you’re doing. That’s why. It’s tough to focus right now. Just too many things coming in my mind.”