Novak Djokovic Matteo Berrettini 2021

‘Matteo Berrettini is the hammer,’ Novak Djokovic praises quarter-final opponent

Novak Djokovic moved one step closer to history by beating Jenson Brooksby in the fourth round to set up a meeting with familiar foe Matteo Berrettini.

The Serbian faced real adversity for the first time at the US Open after losing the opening set 6-1 to the 20-year-old American, though recovered in true Djokovic style to win the match 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

In Wednesday’s quarter-final, the world number one will face the first seed of his US Open campaign as he takes on Matteo Berrettini, who he beat in four sets to claim the Wimbledon title two months ago.

The Serbian praised the big-hitting Italian and compared his serve and forehand to that of Juan Martin del Potro, who won the US Open title back in 2009.

“[He’s the] hammer of tennis. Next to [Juan Martin] del Potro, probably the hardest hitter of serve and forehand,” Djokovic said. He’s got the lethal serve-plus-one game. He’s already established as a top player.

“Without a doubt, he played a… semi-final here a couple years ago, final in Wimbledon. That was a tough four-setter. If he serves well, which is his biggest weapon, he’s tough. He’s tough on any surface to play against.

“I’ve had some really close matches with him at Roland Garros and Wimbledon recently. We’re going to play the third Grand Slam in a row against each other. Hopefully the result will be the same as the previous two.”

The Italian is yet to beat Djokovic in their three previous contests, though has taken a set off Djokovic in their two contests in 2021.


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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.