NEW YORK – Italian Matteo Berrettini regrouped from a series of squandered chances in the third set to brush aside Britain’s Andy Murray 6-4 6-4 6-7(1) 6-3 on Friday, harnessing his powerful forehand to reach the fourth round of the US Open.

Playing in the third round in New York for the first time in six years, Murray appeared utterly outmatched as Berrettini rocketed across nine aces and 19 winners in the first set and extinguished the Briton’s sole break point opportunity.

The situation went from bad to worse for the 2012 champion in the second set, when a dejected Murray tossed his racket towards his bench after handing 13th seed Berrettini the break with a double fault in the ninth game.

But the tables turned as the 26-year-old Italian was unable to convert any of eight break point chances in the third set and handed his 35-year-old opponent the momentum in the tiebreak with a handful of unforced errors.

Berrettini, who beat Murray in the Stuttgart final earlier this year, said he tried to play more “brave” in the final set, getting the critical break in the eighth game after forcing the twice Wimbledon winner into a backhand error.

“I guess you learn from the past a little bit,” said Berrettini, who clinched the contest with an ace to cheers from the rowdy crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I wasn’t aggressive enough on the break points,” he added.

The world number 14 faces Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina, who beat him in Monte Carlo last year, in the next round. REUTERS

Last modified: September 3, 2022