US Open: Berrettini relishing reunion with 'legend' Murray

·2-min read

Andy Murray is a "legend" of the sport who Matteo Berrettini knows he must play his best tennis against in the US Open third round.

Berrettini had to come from behind to beat Hugo Grenier on Wednesday at Flushing Meadows, setting up a fourth career meeting with Murray.

Like Berrettini, former world number one Murray came from a set down to defeat Emilio Nava 5-7 6-3 6-1 6-0.

Berrettini holds a 2-1 lead in his head-to-head series with Murray, who won the first match between the pair in Beijing in 2019.

Murray lost to Berrettini as the Italian went on to win at Queen's Club in 2021, with the Scot going down to the 26-year-old again in the final in Stuttgart earlier this year.

"We played in different conditions. We played 2019 in Beijing, so was hard, but best-of-three. Then twice on grass. All the matches were great fights," Berrettini said in a press conference.

"I think obviously Andy now is in way better shape than he used to be, especially last year. He's a legend of the sport. I think it's going to be a great match, a tough match for me, but feeling confident. I always like to play here, especially in big stages, big matches like the one I'm about to play. Yeah, I think it's going to be a tough one, but I'm ready."

Berrettini also revealed he and Murray have practiced together, though he does not think that will help much in Friday's tie.

He said: "We're friends, but we're not like best friends. A good relationship.

"He had a crazy hip surgery. Everybody saw it. It's not easy to come back, especially when he was number one in the world. Mentally it must have been, like, really tough for him. But I think it's inspiring the will that he has, the love that he has for this sport. I always admired that.

"We often practice together, as well. When I was a kid I was watching him on TV, for me it's still a dream coming true playing against this kind of player.

"I remember 2016 he played against Paolo Lorenzi here. My brother, he played quallies here, the juniors. I was like, Wow, you're playing next to Andy, and now I'm playing against him. It's something that I really appreciate. That's why I'm even happier for the match now I'm going to play.

"But it doesn't matter. When you play Andy Murray, you're playing Andy Murray. You have to play your best tennis."