Matteo Berrettini Downs Brandon Nakashima, Travels to Melbourne | ATP Tour
Matteo Berrettini survived an inspired effort by American #NextGenATP Brandon Nakashima on Monday, overcoming the 20-year-old 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-3 to reach the second round of the Australian Open.
The seventh-seeded Italian was in danger of falling behind by two sets to one at the Margaret Court Arena, but saved two set points on serve at 4-5, 15/40 in the third set, eventually forcing this which turned out to be a crucial tie. -Pause. In the breaker, Berrettini took a 5/0 lead before Nakashima closed in on 6/5. Back on duty, the American gives up the set on an untimely error.
You might also like: Nadal quiet as Australian Open kicks off
Berrettini battled stomach issues throughout their three-hour, 10-minute win, taking a medical timeout in the second set, as well as a bathroom break after the third set and again in the second set. a change at the beginning of the fourth.
“I feel sick with my stomach, let’s say,” Berrettini said during his on-court interview. “But this battle grip in the 10th game of the third set gave him the conviction to get through.
“It was really important. I felt the game changed a bit there,” he said of the eight-point service game. “I really stood there with my mental toughness mainly, because that my body was not there.”
After a break at 5-2 in the fourth, Nakashima saved three match points to force the Italian to serve the match. He came close to 30/30 in the last game, but a big serve from Berrettini closed it. The unreturned serve on match point was a fitting end to a contest that saw 21 aces on the Italian’s racket.
Berrettini will face wild card Stefan Kozlov in the second round, after the American beat Jiri Vesely, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
Congratulations Matteo! 🇮🇹
The #7 seed @MattBerrettini secures his place in the second round after beating Brandon Nakashima 4-6 6-2 7-6(5) 6-3.
– ATP Tour (@atptour) January 17, 2022
In other action on Monday, 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz was made to work hard as he reached the second round of the Australian Open for the second time.
The 24-year-old fired 16 aces as he edged world number 106 Egor Gerasimov 6-2, 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 6-3 in three hours and 15 minutes. The Pole, who is making his fourth Melbourne appearance, will next face Adrian Mannarino after the 33-year-old beat Australian James Duckworth 6-4, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 after three hours and 11 minutes.
Hurkacz had a strong 2021 season, winning three tour-level titles as he qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. The world No.10 will look to build on his momentum in Melbourne as he targets a first major trophy.