Group photo for masters: Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece), Roger Federer (Switzerland), Daniil Medvedev (Russia), Rafa Nadal (Spain), Novak Djokovic (Serbia), Matteo Berrettini (Italy), Dominic Thiem (Austria) and Alexander Zverev (Germany). From tomorrow they will battle in the O2 Arena in London in the Masters final. (Getty Images)
We had never had a copy of a tennis player like that. The sling of the service that rains from an altitude of 196 cm. The straight that makes holes in the field. A maturity far beyond age (23 years). But above all the feeling that Matteo Berrettini, Roman of the New Salary in love with the trimurti Verdone-Panatta-pasta with gricia for not of the As Roma (fault of the paternal grandfather of Florence, purple fan), never loses sight, really, never, the awareness of being a good boy before being a tennis champion. the humanity of this modern and kind gladiator, landed in London among the champions of the Atp Finals with two seasonal titles in their suitcase (Budapest on the ground, Stuttgart on the grass), the US Open semifinal and the n.8 of the world ranking (fourth blue to break through the top-10 wall, the first to the Master after 41 years), the added value of Berrettini from Italy.
Matteo, a debut with a bang: tomorrow against Djokovic.
After Federer at Wimbledon and Nadal in New York, here is Nole. I'm ready, excited but ready. Feeling gratitude for all the wonders that have happened to me this year does not mean sitting down. It will be competitive.
Did you send a case of wine to Shapovalov, who beat Monfils in Paris and gave her a ticket to London?
I was thinking of a grandmother's demijohn of gravy, rather … I thank him in Madrid, where we will be opponents in the Davis Cup. And I have no intention of returning the favor.
From n.54 to n.8 in ten months: how is it on the roller coaster?
I like taking notes on the iPad, I wrote it in my journal the other day: this roller coaster makes my head spin but I like it.
Is there time to be happy or hurry to eat everything?
On happiness I'm working with Stefano, mine mental coach. The space to rejoice is necessarily cut out: the night I lost to Tsonga in Paris, I forced myself to open a bottle of champagne. Beyond the result, it was the right recognition to myself.
Berrettini to scream: in the semifinals at the US Open, beat Monfils
Did you discover something that you didn't know?
S. I discovered more than I thought I was. I knew myself already determined, a bullshit, a real athlete. But the difficulties of the US Open made me realize that I have so many things inside.
Let's talk about his humanity, do you want to?
Gladly, I am pleased. I'm glad it's coming out, because I'm a guy who tends to keep everything inside. Bring out who my strength is. Vincenzo Santopadre, my coach for ten years, has raised me like this: first comes the man, then the tennis player. If so, why is my family like that? Mine mental coach he discovered my soul before me, but I'm slowly getting there too. In addition to straight and backhands, put who you are on the field. And real life, however, out of tennis.
His girlfriend, the Australian tennis player Ajla Tomljanovic, as a gateway to her real life?
With sweetness. First of all I liked physically: I thought I was attracted by blondes, instead I find myself with a brunette. Ajla has a good soul, I would even say pure, that I had to find out step by step. For his education and culture, he had put up a rind: he intrigued me to go in search, to go further. And what I found struck me.
Berrettini at the London Finals: a year of irresistible climb (and the top ten landing)
Victory without playing
How important is a girlfriend to be a tennis player?
Much. We understand each other on the fly. Marted atterrero here in London, coming to Vienna: he understands my times, he doesn't bother me, he knows that when I'm not with her I'm busy doing what a tennis player needs.
The pleasant popularity?
So far s. I met Alessandro Borghi and Claudio Marchisio, my absolute idol Carlo Verdone sent me a video of compliments when I qualified for the Master. The most important people are those who have always loved me, of course.
His other myth, LeBron James, did he show up …?
Not yet! In Shanghai I had tickets for Lakers-Nets, front row. I would have invaded to embrace him. Then I won with Bautista and the team forced me to rest in the hotel. I reluctantly gave away the tickets.
What did you get with the US $ 960,000 prize?
Two rings, my passion. I wear it around my neck. Inside I had the sentence engraved: you are so much inside.
The beard for good luck?
Out of laziness. Mom doesn't like it, Ajla s. I have something in between, so as not to upset anyone.
In such harmony, there is a detail that has given her some criticism, Matteo: the transfer to Montecarlo.
Frankly, I find it hard to see it as a fault. Rome has become difficult to manage: I can no longer go to the restaurant. If one wants to go abroad, what harm is there?
Monte Carlo a special foreign country.
Where all the players live, there is always the sun, it is easier to train. Whoever attacks me does not know me, does not know who I am. I'm used to criticism: with that forehand and backhand you don't go anywhere kid, they told me.
They were wrong. How did you see your opponents' opinion change along the way?
When I arrived in Halle after winning in Stuttgart, Federer met me in the locker room. Well done, he told me. Feeling told by the tennis legend, it has a certain effect.
Legend that in London it was a challenge in the group with Djokovic and Thiem (already beaten).
I learned the Wimbledon lesson. And I'm no longer the Italian boy of high hopes: now I'm a tennis player.
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