Novak Djokovic drops big praise on Matteo Berrettini after comeback win over Italian

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic made a slow start to his US Open quarterfinal clash but he recovered in style to beat eighth-ranked Matteo Berrettini. 

Djokovic, seeded at No. 1, lost the opener but then dominated the next three sets to claim a 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-3 win and progress into the US Open semifinal. 

After the match, Djokovic spoke about how happy he was with the way he responded and spoke extremely highly of Berrettini. 

“Yeah, best three sets I’ve played – second, third and fourth – in the tournament so far. I think I managed to raise the level of my tennis. When I dropped the first set, I just went to a different level and I stayed there till the last point. That’s something that definitely encourages me and gives me a lot of confidence prior to semifinals,” Djokovic said after beating Berrettini. 

“Was a great battle. Always is with Matteo. He’s very powerful player. He’s got one of the best 1-2 punch in the game. Forehand from any position really. Serve, one of the biggest serves we have in tennis. Just difficult player to player against. He likes the big stage. He brings a lot of energy, a lot of intensity on the court. Was a great battle.

“I feel like my game, I stepped it up, and my game has improved definitely during the last couple matches. It’s going in the right direction so far.”

Djokovic didn’t let Berrettini claim an upset win 

Berrettini earned the first break of the match in the 11th game, before serving out for the opener in the following game. 

Losing a tight first set didn’t affect Djokovic, who claimed two breaks in the second set to level the match at one set apiece. 

Djokovic continued his strong play in the third set as well, breaking Berrettini twice to go up by two sets to one. 

Djokovic then started the fourth set with a break and held on to his serve the rest of the way to complete a comeback win.