US Open: Berrettini compares Federer to retiring Williams, hopes for Swiss maestro's return

By Sports Desk September 03, 2022

Matteo Berrettini outlined his desire to see Roger Federer return to the court as he compared the 20-time grand slam champion to retiring legend Serena Williams.

Federer has not played competitively since losing to Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year, and has since undergone his third knee surgery in two years.

But the 41-year-old is hopeful of returning to the court for this month's Laver Cup, where he is set to team up with Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic for Team Europe.

Federer recently shared an encouraging video of a practice session on social media after stepping up his rehabilitation. 

With tennis set to lose one legend after Williams' final US Open campaign was ended by Ajla Tomljanovic on Friday, the return of Federer would represent a major boost for the sport.

Speaking after beating Murray in the third round at Flushing Meadows, Berrettini said: "I think I said it so many times. Probably it's never going to be enough. One of the reasons why I'm here now is Roger. 

"He was my idol when I was growing up. I was cheering for him, so I want him back really badly.

"He's just like Serena, I guess, one of a kind, you know?

"I wish him a really speedy recovery in whatever he's doing to come back. I wish I could play one more time against him."

Berrettini has lost each of his two tour-level matches against Federer, including a straight-sets defeat at Wimbledon in 2019.

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    Aged 22 years and 165 days at the time of his Melbourne Park triumph, Sinner became the youngest-ever player to achieve successive ATP top-five wins in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final of a major, surpassing Michael Stich – 22 years and 262 days at Wimbledon in 1991.

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    Sinner enjoyed a remarkable campaign last year, winning his first Masters 1000 title at the Canadian Open and finishing the season by reaching the showpiece of the ATP Finals.

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    En route to the Indian Wells semi-final defeat to Alcaraz, Sinner also claimed a 19th consecutive ATP match win after overcoming Jiri Lehecka, breaking Adriano Panatta's record for the longest winning streak at ATP level of any Italian in the Open Era.

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    Australian Open successes and a fine 2023 campaign brought Sinner to his crowning moment in June as he became the first Italian to reach world number one since the ATP rankings started in 1973.

    Sinner is one of four players in the past two decades to hold the ATP's number-one ranking before the age of 23, along with Roger Federer, Nadal and Alcaraz.

    Since 2000, Sinner is also just the third male player taller than 188 centimetres to reach the summit of tennis before turning 23, along with Andy Roddick and Marat Safin.

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