Matteo Berrettini sets up potential Rafael Nadal US Open semi-final with win over Monfils

Matteo Berrettini is through to the first Grand Slam semi-final of his career after beating Gael Monfils in five grueling sets.

Monfils took the opening set 6-3 but inexplicably lost his way and fell two sets to one down as the Italian 24th seed wowed the crowd with his shot-making.

However, cheered on by his girlfriend Elina Svitolina, Monfils produced an excellent response to win the fourth set and force a deciding set.

Both players exchanged breaks in the fifth set but Berrettini broke again to lead 4-2 and served for the match at 5-3.

However, the nerves got the better of Berrettini as he failed to take advantage of a match point and dropped his serve with a forehand into the net.

Berrettini then held to lead 6-5 and serving to stay in the match, Monfils had to save two more match points to force a tiebreak.

In the breaker, Berrettini raced out to a 5-2 lead as Monfils wilted under the pressure with two double faults.

Berrettini earned himself two more match points after a fabulous rally and he finally got the job done with a big serve to book a semi-final spot against either Rafael Nadal or Diego Schwartzman.

Berrettini is 6-0 in quarter-finals this year, 6-0 in matches against French players and he is the youngest Grand Slam semi-finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2010.

He told ESPN afterward: “Right now I don’t remember any points, just the match point. I remember also my double fault I must be honest.

“What a great fight. I think it was one of the best matches I maybe ever saw – I was playing but I also saw. I’m really happy I don’t know what to say.

“I was lucky I had match points and he didn’t have it – it’s better when you have them. I’m really proud of myself, I was always focusing on the next point.”