Berrettini rallies late to reach Phoenix Challenger QFs

Cazaux served for the match at 5-3 in decider
March 16, 2024
Matteo Berrettini wins his second match of 2024 at the Arizona Tennis Classic.
Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour
Matteo Berrettini wins his second match of 2024 at the Arizona Tennis Classic. By ATP Staff

Matteo Berrettini made a late charge Friday to keep his comeback week alive at the ATP Challenger Tour 175 event in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Italian, who is playing his first tournament following a six-month injury layoff, escaped Frenchman Arthur Cazaux 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 after two hours, 38 minutes. The second-round match began Thursday but was suspended due to rain after the eighth seed Cazaux won the first set. The rain continued into Friday, forcing a 5:30 pm start at the Phoenix Country Club.

Nearly 26 hours after the match initially began, Berrettini secured his second win of 2024, booking his ticket to the Arizona Tennis Classic quarter-finals.

"Unbelievable match. It took two days," Berrettini said with a laugh. "Really happy to win this match. I'm really glad that I'm here, playing and enjoying my time on court. Let's try and do one more."

The 27-year-old Berrettini was broken to love at 3-4 in the decider, giving Cazaux a chance to serve for the match. But the 2021 Wimbledon finalist struck back and won four straight games to advance. Cazaux, 21, was two points away from clinching the match at 5-4 in the third set. 

The former No. 6 in the PIF ATP Rankings will next play a third consecutive Frenchman, lefty qualifier Terence Atmane. The winner will play twice on Saturday, returning to court in the evening for the semi-finals.

A wild card into Phoenix, Berrettini was crowned champion at the ATP Challenger Tour tournament in 2019. 

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