For the third time in the history of the tournament, Italy qualifies two players to the men’s 4th round. Two Italians in the quarter Slam have not seen each other since 1973
For the third time in the history of the Australian Open, Italy qualifies two players for the round of 16 of the men’s singles. In the past it had happened in 2018 and 2021. Four years ago Fabio Fognini and Andreas Seppi had succeeded: the Ligurian beat Zeballos in the first round, Donskoy in the second and Benneteau in the third (6-3 in the fifth) before giving up his arms to Tomas Berdych (6-1 6-4 6-4). The South Tyrolean instead overtook Moutet, Nishioka and Karlovic 9-7 to fifth before surrendering to Kyle Edmund in four sets (7-6 5-7 6-2 6-3). Also in that edition of the tournament Sonego went out in the second round, Lorenzi, Caruso, Berrettini and Fabbiano in the first.
Last year, however, the credit went to Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini. Berrettini collected the victories over Anderson, Machac and Khachanov (three tie breaks) before retiring due to injury on the eve of the round of 16 match with Tsitsipas. Fognini instead overtook Mathieu, Caruso at the long tie break of the fifth set and De Minaur before surrendering 6-4 6-3 6-2 to Rafael Nadal. Also in that tournament Sonego and Caruso arrived in the second round, Travaglia, Sinner, Mager, Cecchinato and Seppi instead lost in the first.
The next goal is to bring the two blues to the quarter-finals in Melbourne. For Matteo Berrettini there is the obstacle Pablo Carreno Busta, for Sinner instead Alex De Minaur. Both blues are one step away from equaling the best performance ever in this tournament which remains the quarter-finals reached by Giorgio De Stefani in 1935, by Nicola Pietrangeli in 1957 and by Cristiano Caratti in 1991. Instead, to find two Italians at the same time in the quarter-finals of a Slam tournament we must go back to almost 50 years ago when at Roland Garros in 1973 (49 years ago) Adriano Panatta went up to the semifinals and Paolo Bertolucci to the quarterfinals, both beaten by Niki Pilic. Before then, it had happened, again at Roland Garros, in 1960 to Nicola Pietrangeli (winner) and Orlando Sirola (semi-finalist), in 1956 to Beppe Merlo (semifinalist) and Nicola Pietrangeli (quarters) and in 1948 to Marcello Del Bello and Gianni Cucelli (both defeated in the quarterfinals).
January 22 – 17:43
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