Hugo Grenier sold his skin dearly on Wednesday in the second round of a US Open that he could not have played without Pablo Andujar’s last-minute package, but he ended up laying down his arms against the head of series n°13, Matteo Berrettini (2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (7) in 3h25).
Despite his 26 years, Hugo Grenier is only taking his first steps in the big world. More accustomed to Futures and Challengers, he only played his eighth game on the main circuit on Wednesday. And until then, he had never measured himself against a member of the top 40 ATP. So turning 6-2 in his favor after the first set against Berrettini, still 6th in the world in January, was not necessarily in his plans.
Catchy, hard-hitting when the opportunity arose, diligent, Grenier nevertheless dropped off in the second set, which flew away fairly quickly. In the next two sets, he managed to never let go of his commitment and push to his limits a Berrettini who excelled in service but was slow to find the opening in return.
A ball of two sets everywhere that evaporates
The Italian, deprived of the last Wimbledon for having contracted the Covid, tightened the game in the two tie-breaks, where experience is more useful than elsewhere. He nevertheless had to rely on luck at least once when, on a break point at 5-5 in the fourth set for Grenier, he saw his forehand hit the boards and land just on the other side of the net.
A few minutes later, Grenier got an equalizer in two sets everywhere, at 6-5 in the tie-break. But Berrettini then followed his first serve at 219 km / h without trembling with a bazooka forehand. It was two other forehand winners along the line, in passing, which sent the Italian to the third round. He will face Andy Murray there on Friday.