Alejandro Davidovich's hopes of making it to the US Open quarter-finals were brought to an end on Sunday, as the Rincón de la Victoria local was defeated by Italian Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-4 and 2-6.
Against one of the specialists on hardcourt surfaces, Davidovich (ranked world number 39) performed well. In fact, he was in control of the match for the first hour, and impressively won the first set without conceding a single break point. The Andalusian pressed his opponent well, and placed his shots as far away as possible to make the Italian run.
But Berrettini (ranked 14th) was coming into the match. They were serving well in the second set, and Davidovich even had the chance to break his opponent to make it 4-2.
The Andalusian's lack of conviction to take that second was what ultimately changed the course of the match. He committed many unforced errors, ceding ground to his opponent and losing the tie break.
To make things worse, Berrettini went on to have a perfect third set by winning 100% of his first serves, as Davidovich's mood quickly plunged into negativity, not helped by a cramp in his arm, as the Italian took his second set.
The Rincon local's start to the fourth set was good and the short break in play to tend to his cramp help shift the momentum back to him. He took a 4-2 lead and just hung onto it to force an unexpected fifth set.
Berrettini proved why he is one of the best in the world. He remained calm and composed at the start of the final set and was able to break Davidovich's serve three times in a row.
The final blow was dealt on the third break, which allowed the Italian to put himself 4-1 ahead and remain in control.
Moreover, Davidovich pick up a small injury trying to save that fifth game and, even though he pulled a game back to make it 4-2, Berrettini took advantage of the Andalusian's weakened state with back-to-back games, converting the set and point.
Despite being knocked out, Davidovich has equalled his best-ever performance at a US Open, when he reached the round of 16 back in 2020. He has gained a few positions in the world rankings and he could still climb a few places more. He will next play in the Davis Cup for Spain, which will be played in Valencia between 13 and 18 September.