The Roman today plays the 2nd round in Vienna and looks to Turin with the best ATP ranking in his career, sure this time not to be a tourist. Then the commitment in blue
In the year of grace 2021, the one who perhaps always and forever will be remembered as the most generous in terms of sporting results, a 25-year-old Roman named Matteo Berrettini qualified for the second time in the ATP Finals as number 7 in the world. Never before him had any Italian tennis player succeeded, confirming his state of grace and that of blue tennis. A result of the awareness gained two years after the explosion of 2019, when from the top 60 he had succeeded in a splendid and unpredictable climb. This time everything is different, starting from the safety in one’s own means. Berrettini no longer feels “pocketed” among the phenomena, but fully inserted in the club of the best: “Now I am a different man and player than two years ago – said the Roman hammer -. I have learned many things, too. from defeats and disappointments, and with them I grew up “.
He is a type who likes to fly low, but this time he will not go to the ATP Finals in Turin to make an appearance, but to try to win them. And for Matteo the dish will be even richer: not only the Masters, but also the Davis Cup, also in Turin. A blue group never so solid that for the first time will also see Jannik Sinner, fresh from number 11 in the world and still in the running for the Nitto Finals: “I congratulated him – said Matteo after the match won with Popyrin in Vienna ( today second round against Basilasvili) -. He is an impressive player, plays like a veteran and burns the stages with incredible speed. When I trained with him for the first time I realized that he was not a player like all the others. ” Berretto started later, at Sinner’s age he was still far from achieving results on the circuit, also held back by a series of physical problems that slowed down his race. Injuries, for better or for worse, were also important for Matteo’s maturation, immediately accustomed to dealing with long stops and resumptions: “They taught me to be patient – the Italian number 1 always repeats -. That some things in life must simply be accepted and cannot be changed, they taught me that there is no rush “.
And in fact, between a fall and an ascent Matteo is writing new pages of history: “My words are unable to describe the joy I feel in my heart – he said yesterday, once the qualification for Turin 2021 was made official -. 2020 It was a very difficult year for me, on and off the pitch. And now I’m here to make a dream come true. ” Which he hadn’t even allowed himself to say: “No, because it was really too big, like the final at Wimbledon. But it all became reality.” A set snatched from Novak Djokovic in the fight for the title on the most famous grass in the world, however, is not enough for Matteo. If on the one hand it is true that he does not like to fly too many fancy flights, on the other, as his long-time coach Vincenzo Santopadre says, Berrettini is a “big head”. “Capoccione in the positive sense of the term – says the former professional who has followed Berrettini since he was little -. Perhaps it is his best quality, never being satisfied. After the Wimbledon final, a historic milestone for an Italian player, he immediately said “Vincè, we have to invent something to beat this Djokovic sooner or later.” Because that’s how he is, he has the constant need to work and improve “.
As a protagonist
He will go to the Finals with totally different ambitions from those with which he presented himself in London in 2019: “For him it was all new, in a certain sense it can be said that he had forged ahead. Even physically he got worn out”. An injury that then worsened in the Davis Cup challenges forcing him to yet another long stop. Also in the national team, this time, he comes to us with another background, as number 1 in the team, ready to put it on his shoulders: “We have to get used to this new formula – said Matteo -. But this time on paper we are really strong, a complete team. And usually in this competition playing at home helps, I’m sure that Turin will give us a good boost after the Finals. “
Ivan Ljubicic has also been in the team for about a year. The Croatian is his manager, but with a glorious past on the pitch and a present as Roger Federer’s coach, it is impossible not to take advantage of his experience as well: “Ivan is very respectful – explains Santopadre -, he doesn’t interfere with our programs, but when we ask him he is always available to give us his opinion or some advice. He always tells us to be patient, that Matteo will grow even more “. This year he has already done a lot, compensated with interest, after a 2020 to forget between injuries and pandemics. Now he has the license to win:” Finally Matteo was able to demonstrate to all of which fully deserves its position in the top 10 – concludes Vincenzo Santopadre -. In the Grand Slams he only lost to Djokovic, one who has only come within one game to match Laver. Now the second qualification to the Finals. In short, not to pull it off but Matteo is rewriting the history of our tennis. “We can’t wait to read the next chapters.
October 27 – 11:35 am
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Berrettini force 7: “Dream Finals and we are very strong in the Davis Cup”