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.

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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.

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.

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