On paper , this was to be like a stroll in the park for Matteo Berrettini. The Italian Wimbledon finalist was facing unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy on Tuesday in their first round match in New York and it was a mighty close affair I tell you. The first two sets went to a very close tie breaker, the disappointing one for Chardy has got to be the one in the first set. Before I get to that, the veteran Frenchman produced fine tennis in the first set, almost matching him serve for serve(65% on first serve to 67% to Matteo for the match). Check out 1-1(40-30) and 4-3(40-15), pretty similar points set up by the huge serve. One who serves in the most first serves almost surely wins the contest. Both were holding serve impressively leading up to the tie break, in terms of net play Matteo was better. It went horribly wrong for Chardy in the tie breaker, leading 4-1. Matteo would go on to win six points from the next seven to clinch it. How deflating that must be for the Frenchman going into the second set, knowing you had the breaker under control like this. Lack of confidence showing at set point 6-5.
Just four breaks of serve in this one, one of which was for Chardy which happened in the second set. Some deft drop shots on display from both players. Crucially for Matteo he broke back later in the set .But before that check out 3-2(15-40).In this point Chardy plays a difficult forehand with ball going across the body, ever so important to open up that racquet. Chardy will for a long time ask what might have been if he had managed to close out the set serving at 5-4. On to the third set and no tie break needed here. Matteo simply ground stroked Jeremy out of the court, literally. Check out 4-2 Berrettini(40-30). Matteo overcooked that cross court forehand at the end there fortunately it landed bang on the line setting up the easy finish. Those are the fine margins in tennis. Jeremy committing another unforced error on match point to hand the victory to Berrettini 6-3. That was his weakness really, not being able to have the level headedness to hold serve when back is to wall.