Sixth seed Matteo Berrettini continues his impressive run through the US Open, steamrolling past 30th seed Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the third round at Flushing Meadows. Playing on Court 17, the Italian fired 40 winners in the two hour, two minute contest to set up a Round of 16 showdown with 10th seed Andrey Rublev.
Berrettini sharp in dismantling Ruud
The first two games went to the server with ease until Berrettini made his move, crushing a forehand down the line to set up double break point and after Ruud dumped a backhand into the net, the Italian took a 2-1 lead.
Berrettini saved a break point in the fifth game and Ruud did the same one game later. The Norwegian was starting to make inroads as he pushed the sixth seed to deuce, but the Italian responded with back-to-back aces to take a 5-3 lead and he closed out the set two games later with a picture-perfect volley.
The second set was a low-key affair with neither man making of much of an impression on the other's serve through five games until Ruud again arrived at deuce. Again, big serving came to Berrettini's rescue as he levelled the set at 3-3.
The Italian was mixing up his shots well and a slice approach forced a forehand to sail long from Ruud, creating a break point which Berrettini grabbed with a bruising forehand that the 30th seed had no reply for. A game later, the sixth seed rifled another ace that gave him a two-set lead.
The third set was less straightforward as Ruud had early chances to break, but his forehand let him down and Berrettini held for 1-1. More aggressive play coming forward set up a break chance for the Italian and he duly converted when the Norwegian misfired on a backhand.
He would have chances for a commanding double break lead as Ruud stared down 0-40. Saving one opportunity, the 30th seed again saw his forehand desert him and Berrettini was ahead 4-1 and out of sight. The Norwegian saved four match points to temporarily hold on, but the Italian pummeled a final forehand with no reply to seal an impressive victory.