TennisSection previews the 2022 Australian Open as Matteo Berrettini takes on Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round on Sunday, January 23rd, 2022.
Experience won over youth on Friday when Matteo Berrettini defeated Carlos Alcaraz in a dramatic five-setter at the Australian Open. Many had written off the Italian’s chances pre-match, but he quelled doubts about his health concerns with a fine performance. Now another test awaits Berrettini when he takes on a second Spaniard in Pablo Carreno Busta.
Matteo Berrettini continues to be amazed at the potential that Carlos Alcaraz possesses, and in fairness so are we. The young Spaniard fought back valiantly from two sets down to level the match demonstrating some brutal hitting from the baseline. But Alcaraz’s game is still a work-in-progress as evidenced by the fifth-set collapse in the super tie-break. A mis-hit forehand gave Berrettini a mini-break for 6-5 and he increased that gap further before Alcaraz double-faulted on match point. Victory means that the Italian number seven seed is now in the second week of the Australian Open for the second year in a row, and plays a second Spaniard in a row in Pablo Carreno Busta.
Pablo Carreno Busta upset the unseeded American Sebastian Korda in another grueling battle. Both players came into this match on the back of five-setters. But it was Korda who appeared lethargic as he dropped the first two sets. He did make one last dash in the third-set tiebreak, hauling himself from 3-5 down to win it 8-6. But that comeback was short-lived as Carreno Busta roared back in the fourth set securing his sixth break in the match to advance. He sets up an intriguing battle with Matteo Berrettini in the Round of 16.
Matteo Berrettini and Pablo Carreno Busta are yet to play each other on the ATP Tour. The Italian number seven seed should not be underestimated regardless if his stomach issues flare up. He continues to hit the ball crisply and with accuracy, and his athleticism won’t be questioned now that he took down Carlos Alcaraz. Carreno Busta will be another test. His counterpunching skills are some of the best in the business and his flat ground strokes are just extremely difficult to read. This is a tough call, but I am backing the upset in this one.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Pablo Carreno Busta in four sets.
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