Berrettini stops in the quarterfinals in the Phoenix Challenger

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The Roman goes 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in three sets, with the qualified Shevchenko playing a match far from his standards

No semifinals for Matteo Berrettini at the Challenger 175 in Phoenix. The Roman, seeded number one in the tournament, lost in the quarter-finals against the Russian Alexander Shevchenko in three sets (6:4, 3:6, 6:3) and unfortunately once again proved that the way back to the player who was really very big is long. For goodness sake, Shevchenko, 22, is one of those players showing good form in 2023 (he led Hurckacz to the third set in Dubai, only losing in the tiebreak), but he’s still ranked 132 in the world with just a few games behind and under normal conditions there would not have been even a hint of a game against Berrettini. However, Matteo tries to set up matches and after certainly unexciting performances against Bellucci and Vukic, a player with a little more ball was enough to defeat him.

The match

In the first set, the break came in the Russian’s favor at 3-3 after a bloody double fault from Matteo at 15-30 and a subsequent forehand error that allowed Shevchenko to move up to 4-3 and then hold the lead to 6-4 , saving a break point for Berrettini at 5-4. In the second set, the Roman reacted proudly, who was able to snatch the serve from the 22-year-old from Rostow to make it 4:3 (the only time in the match) after canceling three breakballs and then close the break to 6-3. At that moment, Matteo seemed to be in control, even on the wings of excitement so to speak, but it didn’t last long. At 2-1 in his favor, Shevchenko broke Berrettini again and the match sadly ended there. The former blue top ten player played a confused match: he struggled but was almost never aggressive, too far from the baseline for his standards, with a poor exit from his serve and an overall slowness that didn’t suit him. In short, while the Phoenix Challenger has given Berrettini games and minutes, it has also clearly attested to the current level of the Roman, who will now go to Miami in the hope of a recovery that seems a long way off.

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