Matteo Berrettini’s forehand fell to pieces in the third-set tiebreak against Andy Murray and Mark Petchey used his own wife in an analogy to mock the Italian tennis star. Berrettini had been in full control against Murray, taking the opening two sets and had multiple opportunities to break in the third.
The three-time major champion was struggling to cope with Berrettini’s dominant serve while the No 13 seed was also showcasing his powerful forehand with numerous winners. But Murray was fighting to stay in the set and forced a tiebreak to give himself a chance of making an incredible comeback.
It started off on the wrong foot as Murray failed to hold his own serve to start the tiebreak. However, Berrettini went one better with two unforced errors on his usually reliable forehand to give Murray the advantage.
And with the crowd on his side, Murray went on to win the tiebreak to the delight of those inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. Berrettini and Murray both went off to change their clothes after the third set, allowing the Amazon pundits to give their opinions on what had just transpired.
And former British No 1 Petchey made both Tim Henman and Jim Courier chuckle with his unique assessment of Berrettini’s dip in form. “What an amazing effort from Andy in that particular set,” Petchey said on Amazon.
“Didn’t play his best tennis, but you guys know about this, you don’t always have to play your best tennis. You’ve got to play your best tennis at the right moments.
“He never gave it to Matteo and in those big moments it was Matteo’s forehand that went off. For the most part of it, his forehand had the pace of a Formula One car but by the end of it, he had the directional sense of my wife.
“That was a big surprise let’s be honest. It isn’t a shot you usually see him miss by the margins that he did.”
Murray is competing in the third round of the US Open for the first time since 2016 – the same year he won his second Wimbledon title. It’s the fourth clash between Berrettini and Murray, with their last coming at the Stuttgart Open final where the former came out on top.