Matteo Berrettini's wretched run of injuries has continued at the US Open after the Italian was forced to retire hurt with an awful ankle injury on Friday (AEST). The former Wimbledon finalist has tumbled down the ATP rankings in the last two years after a string of injuries, including a tricky wrist issue.
And the horror luck continued at Flushing Meadows on Friday when he rolled his ankle in the second set against Arthur Rinderknech. Berrettini fell to the ground and was screaming in agony as officials rushed onto court to try and help him.
He eventually decided to call it quits while trailing 4-6 3-5. The Italian was spotted being taken off the court in a wheelchair as he held his head in his hands in despair.
— Seemann 1978 (@1978Seemann) August 31, 2023
— Poopoo (@heythereokayyas) August 31, 2023
The 'Tennis Letter' Twitter account wrote: "Matteo Berrettini left the US Open in a wheelchair. It’s difficult to explain just how horrific his luck has been. The amount of injuries he’s had just isn’t right. What’s most frustrating is that there’s no one to blame but the universe."
American writer Christopher Clarey tweeted: "Berrettini, man, no way to end anyone's US Open". Fans and other commentators described the scenes as "awful" and "horrible".
Just saw the footage of Berrettini leaving the tunnel in a wheelchair... Just awful, awful scenes for him yet again.
— Gaspar Ribeiro Lança (@gasparlanca) August 31, 2023
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) August 31, 2023
Looks like a horrible injury there for Berrettini, yet another injury/illness at this year’s event in just the opening four days.
For a guy who has had no luck with injuries in his career, heartbreaking 💔
— Serving Up Clutch (@clutchtennispod) August 31, 2023
Berrettini down screaming in agony. This tournament is cursed.
— Craggers 🇺🇦 (@cragstennis) August 31, 2023
Some were left furious that it took so long to get a doctor onto Court 5 to assess Berrettini. The Italian was writhing in pain for at least five minutes before a medic got there.
One viewer commented: "Rules need to change in tennis to allow quick medical attention for players. It’s distressing to see Berrettini on the floor for a long period and nobody can assist quickly enough."
Another wrote: "5 minutes to get a doctor with a man screaming on the court, welcome to US Open...disgusting."
— Roberto Erotavo (@RobertoErotavo) August 31, 2023
Speechless, this guy is so unlucky. When things don't want to work, they don't work. Matteo #Berrettini is forced to retire after #Rinderknech, who was up 6-4, 5-3. Similar to that of Zverev, but thank you anklets. Get well soon🙏🏻
(Doctors had to be faster!)#USOpen #USOpen2023 pic.twitter.com/LnPEgvwwsN
— Pietro Marazzato (@PietroMarazzato) August 31, 2023
Just thinking the same thing. Disgrace
— Terry Noonan (@TerryNoonan15) August 31, 2023
Rules need to change in tennis to allow quick medical attention for players. It’s distressing to see #Berrettini on the floor for a long period and nobody can assist quickly enough. His own team should be assessing him. #USOpen2023 #USOpen pic.twitter.com/4qs7dwatNW
— Lili 🦚 (@Lili_PGH) August 31, 2023
Andy Murray and John Isner bow out of US Open
It was also bad news for a number of other veterans on Friday, with Andy Murray suffering another early grand slam exit and John Isner playing the final match of his career. The 36-year-old Murray said he knows time is no longer on his side, conceding another deep run at a major may not be within his reach.
The 2012 US Open champion put up a tough fight at first against 19th seed Grigor Dimitrov, but rapidly lost energy and appeared to have little left in the tank as he surrendered the second-round match with a double fault. "It's obviously disappointing, to not play how you would like," the former World No.1 said of the 6-3 6-4 6-1 loss.
"Maybe I need to accept that, these events, I had the deep runs and everything that I felt like I'm capable of, they might not be there, as well." Dimitrov will next face German Alexander Zverev, who beat his compatriot Daniel Altmaier 7-6 3-6 6-4 6-3.
Big-serving Isner bid farewell to his professional singles career after losing 3-6 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (9-7) to fellow American Michael Mmoh. Isner added 48 more aces to his record tally, before the physical nature of the contest took its toll on the towering 38-year-old.
"Yeah, it's tough. I like to think I work as hard as I can," Isner said during an on-court interview before his voice trailed off with emotion. "This is why I worked as hard as I have my whole life to play in atmospheres like this and of course I may not win them all as we know, just like today. But to play in front of this crowd and have the support I had is pretty special so thank you."
Stan Wawrinka managed to buck the trend, becoming the oldest man to reach the third round of the US Open since Jimmy Connors in 1991 at age 38 (same as Wawrinka). The three-time grand slam champion beat 30th seed Tomás Martín Etcheverry 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 6-2.
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