ATP

Roger Federer compliment still gives Matteo Berrettini goosebumps

By Sports Desk April 11, 2020

Matteo Berrettini still gets goosebumps when he thinks about being complimented by Roger Federer.

Despite starting 2019 outside the top 50, Berrettini ended the year with a place in the ATP Finals as the world number eight.

Titles in Budapest and Stuttgart, an appearance in the final in Munich and a run to the US Open semi-finals proved key to the Italian's remarkable ascendancy.

His impressive rise did not go unnoticed by Federer, who praised Berrettini's performances when they were in action at the Halle Open.

The 20-time major champion offered more words of encouragement when their first on-court meeting ended in Federer triumphing 6-1 6-2 6-2 in the fourth round of Wimbledon.

Berrettini told Stats Perform: "Before Wimbledon I played Stuttgart and Halle. I won Stuttgart whose defending champions was Federer.

"In Halle I met him and he complimented me. Before we only exchanged some hellos but to be complimented by him still gives me goosebumps.

"We didn't speak during Wimbledon because we were in the same half of the draw, so no tips. But then he told me: 'Congratulations for your grass season. Go on like this and you will go high.'

"Then we met again in London for the ATP Finals. He was very kind because we chatted during the famous boat trip from the hotel to the arena. We chatted about the holidays and his plans.

"The relationship with all of them is so weird. I grew up looking up to them, you know. But the relationship is good, they are special."

Berrettini will not get to continue his development on grass this season with the whole swing, including Wimbledon, cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The 23-year-old is disappointed he will not get to play at the All England Club, having gained a greater affinity for the surface following his displays in 2019.

"Without a shadow of a doubt, Wimbledon is my favourite slam. I reached the US Open semis but I regard Wimbledon as the temple of our sport," said Berrettini.

"I always say that in this place even people who are not experts or passionate about tennis, go there and get keen to be participating and playing. It is wonderful and its cancellation is very tough for us.

"It is a peculiar situation. It is on grass and in England where the weather is mostly rainy, they can play only in certain dates. They can't move it to November because in London it would be five degrees. That's why the cancellation.

"Until last year, though, my relationship with grass was not ideal at all. But since the Davis Cup tie in India, everything changed for me.

"Maybe I improved in some aspects, but I didn't even realise at the end of the season I had played many high-level games on that surface and now it is one of my favourite."

Related items

  • Rafael Nadal confirms Madrid test between US Open and French Open dates Rafael Nadal confirms Madrid test between US Open and French Open dates

    Rafael Nadal has chosen to launch his clay-court season in Madrid during the week that follows the US Open.

    The world number two could face a hectic schedule if he elects to travel to New York to defend his grand slam title.

    That tournament will be behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows and it remains to be seen whether the Madrid Open, a Masters Series event, must also operate in the same circumstances.

    Madrid's showpiece event was postponed from May and is now scheduled to begin on Sunday, September 13, the day of the men's US Open final.

    Nadal may not need to play in Madrid until possibly the Wednesday, but it is possible he could be considering skipping the trip to the United States, focusing instead on the delayed clay-court swing.

    After Madrid comes the Internazionali d’Italia in Rome, with the French Open, which Nadal has won a record 12 times, then beginning on September 27.

    The 34-year-old Nadal has previously indicated he was unsure about travelling to New York, questioning whether that event should happen given the COVID-19 crisis.

    Playing closer to home is more straightforward for Spain's 19-time grand slam winner.

    Madrid tournament director Feliciano Lopez, who as a player won the Queen's Club singles and doubles titles last year, wrote on Twitter that Nadal had agreed to play his tournament.

    "I've spoken with my friend @RafaelNadal and he's confirmed he will take part in Madrid this September," Lopez said.

    He said Nadal would be welcomed "with open arms" at the event.

    Nadal responded by writing: "Same with you Feli. See you in September in Madrid."

  • Brandon Burke makes history: First Jamaican on WTA board Brandon Burke makes history: First Jamaican on WTA board

    The Women's Tennis Association (WTA), announced last week, that Brandon Burke has been elected to its board by a vote from the WTA Players’ Council and will be formally seated in September.

    The 27-year-old Burke, who is to be a Player Representative on the WTA Board, is the first Jamaican to fill a board position at this level.

    "I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity because it’s the kind of job if I had got at 50 or 60, it would still be a huge thing in my career, and to have got it at 27 is amazing,” Burke said.

    Burke, who will become the youngest member on the board, is set to join Iva Majoli, Michael Segal, and Vanessa Webb on the player board, engaging with players' council members and the players ranking groups they represent. They will be responsible for assuring that the board and WTA management are fully informed of their constituency's point of view.

    A six-time Jamaica Davis Cup national team member and an accomplished collegiate athlete, Burke is currently the Chief Operating Officer and legal consultant for Sports Travel Experts, developing successful sporting events throughout Canada and the Caribbean, such as the Canadian Pickleball Series and the Caribbean Cup Tennis Series.

    "We are excited to have Brandon join the board and we are confident that his expertise in event management, marketing strategy, and law will bring invaluable support to the WTA Tour and its players," said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman, and CEO. "I look forward to working with Brandon and the other board members to drive continued growth for the WTA."

    Burke will formally replace Dianne Hayes, who held the position as a WTA player board representative for over six years.

    The WTA Board of Directors is comprised of eight voting directors of which three are appointed by the players, three are appointed by the tournaments, one is appointed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), and the WTA CEO, who also serves as chairman. Additional members of the board include three alternates representing the players, tournaments, and the ITF.

  • ATP revises ranking systems due to coronavirus ATP revises ranking systems due to coronavirus

    The ATP has confirmed its rankings system will be revised due to the impact of coronavirus.

    Tennis across the globe had to be halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with exhibition tournaments taking place sporadically in June, albeit under strict social distancing guidelines.

    The ATP Tour is now scheduled to restart in August with two tournaments ahead of the US Open.

    There are then three planned events in Europe before the French Open, which is set to be played in front of crowds.

    Ahead of the season's resumption, the ATP has now confirmed that the rankings will be revised to cover a period of 22 months, from March 2019 to December 2020, with the rankings having been frozen since March 16.

    This temporary change will be comprised of a player's "Best 18" results in the 22-month timeframe. 

    A player cannot count the same tournament twice, however, with the best of their two results counted.

    Tournament points added in 2020 will remain on a player's ranking for 52 weeks, or until the event is played again in 2021.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.