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Tennis news • Murray sets up Berrettini meeting at U.S. Open, Medvedev and Kyrgios remain on collision course

Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts against Emilio Nava of the United States in his US Open second-round win. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

The first three days of the U.S. Open produced all kinds of wild five-setters on the men’s side. And on the women’s side, of course, Serena Williams is the talk of the tournament–and of the entire sports world.

Yes, through three days the 2022 U.S. Open has been great–no matter if Novak Djokovic fans may try to claim otherwise. But you can’t help but look ahead and think that it could get even better.

Just look at one third-round match that is already set: Matteo Berrettini vs. Andy Murray. A rematch of the Stuttgart title tilt (won by the Italian), this would be worthy of something like a U.S. Open quarterfinal. One of the two, however, will be out prior to Labor Day weekend.

Both Murray and Berrettini avoided elimination on Wednesday, albeit not without some minor hiccups. Murray dropped the opening set of his second-round match to Emilio Nava, while Berrettini needed four sets and two tiebreakers to get past Hugo Grenier.

“My body is responding well to playing matches,” the 35-year-old Scot assured. “I pulled up pretty well from [my first-round match]. Then obviously today I think physically I was stronger than him at the end of the match, which is a really positive thing. My game improved as the match went on. My movement around the court is good right now. I feel like it’s not that easy for guys to hit winners past me and I’m defending in the corners much better than I was 12 months ago here. I’m not having to worry about, you know, the next day waking up with something that is going to really impact me or hamper my tennis.”

That is good news heading into a showdown with Berrettini.

Matteo Berrettini of Italy is a former US Open semifinalist. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES

“I played him earlier in the year in Stuttgart and it was a really tight match,” Murray reflected. “He’s been very unlucky this year. I spoke about that on the court. He obviously got COVID at Wimbledon when he was going in, having won the two leadup tournaments. I don’t know exactly what the (previous) problem was, his hand or his wrist, when he had started the year I think pretty well. So he’s been unfortunate with some of that stuff.

“He’s been up at the top of the game for quite a number of years, and now he’s very consistent. He’s a big server who puts down a pretty high percentage of serves usually, so (it) always makes it difficult to break and is always in the match because of that. He’s not just a big serve, though. He has a good slice backhand; he has a big forehand. I think he’s a very good competitor, as well. (It’s) not going to be easy.”

Another not-so-easy draw appears to lie ahead for Daniil Medvedev and Nick Kyrgios. It’s not a done deal yet, but they are just one win away apiece from a potential fourth-round affair after taking care of their respective matches on Wednesday night. Medvedev routed Arthur Rinderknech after Kyrgios held off Benjamin Bonzi in a tight four-setter.

Yes, the tennis has already been good. But we’re just getting started!

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.