Australian Open news: Matteo Berrettini hits back at abusive fan after epic win
Matteo Berrettini became the first Italian man to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open after an epic five-set win over Gael Monfils, but he was not impressed with an abusive fan interrupting him as he gave his post-match interview.
Monfils went into the match as the only man yet to drop a set but Berrettini was the better on the big points in the opening two sets, but the Frenchman levelled matters as the clock ticked past midnight.
Berrettini was also pushed to five sets by Carlos Alcaraz in round three and he proved his competitive mettle again by holding firm for a 6-4 6-4 3-6 3-6 6-2 victory and now he will take on Rafael Nadal in the last four.
Yet it was during his post-match interview that Berrettini was stopped in his tracks as one disgruntled fan screamed abuse in his direction, with the Italian stopping the interview and suggesting the man in question needed to “show some respect”.
Umpire James Keothavong also had to appeal to some unruly fans in the crowd several times to stop screaming out during points, with one fan confronted on several occasions on stewards.
“Some of them are not really tennis fans I think,” said Berrettini. “It’s fine. I win, I’m happy.”
Berrettini appeared to be an outsider to win the match heading into the fifth set, but he found a way to win and set up a meeting with Nadal.
“It feels unbelievable. I’m really happy for myself,” he added. “It was a great fight against Gael. I thought I had him in the third and then I found myself in the fifth.”
Berrettini will now play Nadal in the semi-final, after the 20-time Grand Slam champion admitted he was lucky to find a way to win his five-set epic against Denis Shapovalov.
The sixth seed grinned with joy and relief while Shapovalov, who missed a chance to break at the start of the decider, slammed his racket angrily to the court.
Nadal said: “It was a little bit of a miracle. I was destroyed, honestly, physically. But my serve worked well and, for me, every game that I was winning with my serve was a victory.
“I started to feel bad at the end of the second. It was very warm out there today and the conditions were hard.
“Of course, in the beginning of the fifth set I was very worried. More than worried, I thought it was going to be super difficult to win that match. But here I am.
“Being in semi-finals means a lot to me, to have a victory against a great player after all the things that I went through.”
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