'Federer, without a doubt': Berrettini’s colossal statement about childhood idol | Tennis News - Hindustan Times

'Roger Federer, without a doubt': Matteo Berrettini makes colossal statement about childhood tennis idol

Aug 07, 2023 04:37 PM IST

Matteo Berrettini made a colossal statement about his childhood tennis idol Roger Federer during a recent interview.

Considered to be the most talented Italian tennis player of his generation, Matteo Berrettini had his best major performance in the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, where he reached the singles final. He also became the first man born in the 1990s and first Italian man to reach the quarter finals or better of all four majors after bagging his first Australian Open semifinal in 2022.

Matteo Berrettini spoke about Roger Federer.
Matteo Berrettini spoke about Roger Federer.

During Wimbledon 2021, Berrettini was in good form after having just won the Queen's Club Championships. After reaching the quarterfinal, he defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime in four sets to reach his first Wimbledon semifinal, and he also became the first Italian man in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon semis, since Nicola Pietrangeli in 1960.

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In the semis, He defeated Hubert Hurkacz to become the first Italian to reach a Wimbledon singles final and the first Italian man to reach a major final since Adriano Panatta at the 1976 French Open. But then his dream ended in the final, where he lost to Novak Djokovic in four sets.

Recently, Berrettini was interviewed by Correire Della Sera, where he was asked to pick his favourite tennis player as a kid. The 27-year-old simply replied, "Federer, without a doubt."

"The first match against him I didn't even understand where I was, I was so excited. And I was at Wimbledon. He killed me, but it was wonderful. He's not just a great tennis player, he's a fantastic person. He knows how to be simple, inclusive, he is naturally, not artificially, open, friendly. When it passes you feel a special energy. He has the charisma of talent and kindness," he further added.

The pair first faced each other during Wimbledon 2019. As the 17th seed, Berrettini was in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time and was up against Federer. But he lost in 74 minutes and after the match even jokingly asked Federer, "Thanks for the tennis lesson, how much do I owe you?"

They faced again in the 2019 ATP Finals, where Federer won. Then in the 2021 French Open Round of 16, Berrettini received a walkover.

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