Djokovic, Zverev win as Italians Berrettini, Sinner battle through in five-setters to reach US Open last 16

Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini and rising star Jannik Sinner both went the distance on another stunning day of play at the US Open

Matteo Berrettini

This year’s US Open has been all about the five-setters and so two more set Flushing Meadows alight on Saturday with Italians Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner both went the distance to reach the last 16.

First sixth seed Berrettini battled past Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 and then No 13 seed Jannik Sinner fended off a brilliant fightback from Gael Monfils to advance with a 7-6 (1), 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4 victory.

Berrettini will meet German qualifier Oscar Otte while Sinner plays either fourth seed Alexander Zverev or American Jack Sock.

Berrettini’s resilience sees him past Ivashka

Berrettini reached the Wimbledon final this summer thanks in large part to his sheer power, especially on serve and forehand.

At the US Open on Saturday, the Italian’s physicality was again important, but so was his resilience as he withstood an early attack from Ilya Ivashka of Belarus and then a late fightback to claim a 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 victory and take his place in the last 16.

World No 53 Ivashka won the warm-up event in Winston-Salem and pushed him hard throughout but Berrettini’s 27 aces helped him relax in the pressure moments. A break in the second game of the fifth set steadied his nerves and he stayed ahead to reach the fourth round for the third year in a row.

Berrettini now plays German qualifier Otte, who ousted Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 to reach the last 16 of a slam for the first time in his career, having saved match points in his first two matches in qualifying.

Sinner stays calm to see off Monfils in epic

Sinner is into the fourth round of the US Open for the first time in his career and he got a real taste of the New York crowd as he scrambled past a rejuvenated Gael Monfils in a pulsating match.

Having won the first two sets, Sinner saw Monfils hit back and then let slip a 4-0 lead in the fourth set as the Frenchman took it the distance. But even at 20, Sinner’s impressive temperament saw him grab an early break and hold the advantage to claim his last-16 spot.

“The atmosphere is insane, thank you for coming out” Sinner said to the crowd. “I had chances in the third, I had chances in the fourth, I didn’t manage to close it out but I tried to stay (calm) and I’m very happy with the match.”

“I like playing best of five. It would be better to close it out a bit earlier but it’s a great feeling, having tough moments and fighting through them.”

Djokovic remains on track for calendar-year Grand Slam; Zverev also wins

World No 1 Novak Djokovic was not at his best but still managed to find a way to win, his 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win over Kei Nishikori sending him through to the last 16 in New York for the 15th year in a row.

Djokovic, who needs the US Open to win his 21st Grand Slam title and become the first man since Rod Laver to win all four majors in one year – the calendar-year Grand Slam – will play young American Jenson Brooksby, who upset 21st seed Aslan Karatsev, of Russia, 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

The player who defeated Novak Djokovic at the Tokyo Olympics, Alexander Zverev, also advanced. The fourth seed was leading two-sets-to-one and an early break in the fourth when his opponent Jack Sock retired due to a right groin injury. Zverev will next meet Sinner for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, seventh seed Denis Shapovalov was knocked out by South African Lloyd Harris 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Harris is through to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time and will meet 22nd seed Reilly Opelka next. The American, one of three home favourites into the last 16, scored a 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Nikoloz Basilavashili.

Full Summary from the men’s draw on Saturday at the US Open

  • Seeds winning at the US Open (3rd round): Novak Djokovic (1), Alexander Zverev (4), Matteo Berrettini (6), Jannik Sinner (13)
  • Seeds beaten at the US Open: Denis Shapovalov (7), Gael Monfils (17), Aslan Karatsev (21), Reilly Opelka (22)
  • To follow our full coverage of the 2021 US Open, please visit this page
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  • Today’s full schedule at the US Open is here.
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