© Andrew Ong/USTA

Matteo Berrettini hits 50 winners in his four-set victory against Corentin Moutet on Thursday.

Berrettini Battles Past Moutet In New York

Italian will next face in-form Belarusian Ivashka

Matteo Berrettini’s diesel engine is starting to fire, and Corentin Moutet was unable to stop it on Thursday afternoon in New York.

The sixth-seeded Italian had too much firepower for the Frenchman, and he pulled away for a 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory to reach the third round of the US Open for the third consecutive year. He will play last week’s Winston-Salem champion, Ilya Ivashka, for a spot in the fourth round.

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Berrettini has proven a dangerous foe at Grand Slams, advancing to the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows two years ago and the final at Wimbledon earlier this year. The top-ranked Italian is one of the biggest threats to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s Grand Slam pursuit in the top half of the draw with his powerful game.

The 25-year-old had a thigh injury that kept him out of the Tokyo Olympics and Toronto. But the Rome-native is back to full fitness, and he showed as much with 50 winners against Moutet.

The Frenchman is an exciting all-court player who is capable of sensational shotmaking himself. But Berrettini’s consistent power proved too much. After losing the second set, the Italian broke immediately to start the third and did not relinquish the momentum from there to triumph after three hours and 21 minutes.

Berrettini will face a tough test in the third round against Ivashka, who has won eight consecutive matches. The Belarusian eliminated Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(5).

This is the second consecutive major at which Ivashka has made the third round. He advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon.

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