US Open: Berrettini, Zverev, Harris earn quarterfinal berths

9/6/2021
 Sixth-seeded Matteo Berrettini of Italy was made to work hard at the US Open as he battled past qualifier Oscar Otte of Germany 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows for a second time.

The 25-year-old Italian, who reached his first major final at Wimbledon before losing to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, was tested by Otte, surviving a dip in the second set, before raising his intensity to advance after two hours and 22 minutes. The German struggled with a wrist injury throughout the fourth set after falling at 1-1 in the set, but continued to toil.

"It was an intriguing match, as I expected. Different court, tricky player. I wasn't feeling really good at the beginning," Berrettini said. "I had to adjust to the conditions and it was a match that I knew I could win and it's never easy when it's like that.

"I felt the pressure a little bit but I handled it pretty well. He was playing well and also the right way to not let me play my best tennis. Oscar had a great run and I told him that he didn't deserve [to go out with an injury], but that's tennis. It happened to me in Australia this year. It's never easy but he can take a lot of good from this tournament," Berrettini told atptour.com.

The world No. 8 has fond memories at Flushing Meadows, having enjoyed a run to his first major semifinal at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2019. The five-time tour-level champion will aim to match that by overcoming world No. 1 Novak Djokovic or American Jenson Brooksby in the quarterfinals.

Berrettini now leads Otte 2-0 in their ATP head-to-head. The Italian has captured titles on clay in Belgrade and grass at The Queen's Club this year, while he reached his maiden ATP Masters 1000 final in Madrid.

Otte, currently No. 144 in the ATP rankings, was the lowest-ranked men's player in the fourth round of the US Open since world No. 179 Jiri Novak in 2006. The 28-year-old was aiming to join Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp as the first pair of men's qualifiers to reach the last-eight at a major in the Open Era.

"All I have to say right now is that the end wasn't how I wanted it to end, of course. But all in all I can say was a very good two weeks," Otte said. "I just go back home tomorrow and then try to get more clearance with the doctors and MRI. But all in all I would say still a very good tournament."

South Africa's Lloyd Harris gained revenge over Reilly Opelka of the US as he continued his strong run, overcoming the 22nd seed 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 to reach his maiden major quarterfinal. The 24-year-old, who was competing in the fourth round at a Slam for the first time, fell to Opelka in a final-set tie-break in the third round in Toronto. The big-serving American went on to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 final.

However, Harris fired 62 winners and won seven straight games as he rallied in New York, securing his victory after two hours and 31 minutes. The World No. 46 will face fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the last eight after the German moved past Italian Jannik Sinner 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(7).

"I thought I played a really good first set, returning well," Harris said in his on-court interview. "Throughout the match I served really well and after that first set not going my way, I stayed confident and what an unbelievable feeling this is. The support has been amazing."

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