Matteo Berrettini recalls his past Rome tournament memories - UBITENNIS
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Matteo Berrettini recalls his past Rome tournament memories

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One year ago Matteo Berrettini beat Alexander Zverev in one of the best matches of his career at the 2019 Internazionali d’Italia in Rome in front of his home fans. The World Number 8 player looked back to his epic win over the German player and his best memories of the home tournament. Berrettini talked to Italian sports channel Sky Sport.

 

“I have a great memory of last year’s tournament. It’s strange that we cannot play this year. It’s a big blow for tennis players, but health comes first. Rome is the home tournament for me. It’s a very special week. I have the chance to sleep at my parents’ home. This never happens when I travel around the world. I have a special memory of the matches against Fabio Fognini in 2017 and Alexander Zverev in 2019. These memories give me goose bumbs. I am looking forward to coming back soon and I hope I will be able to play in Rome many times in the future”, said Berrettini.

Berrettini recalls the past editions of the Rome tournament, which he watched on television or attended live as a kid.

“My first memory of the Rome tournament dates back to 2006 with the epic clash between Federer and Nadal. I was 10 years old and I wondered how long they would have continued playing. I stayed on the edge of my seat in front of television. I think the defeat was a big blow for Federer. I supported Roger at that time. We are now rivals and I can no longer be his fans. I also remember the win of Filippo Volandri against Federer in 2007. I watched this match on the big screen outside the Centre Court, because I had no ticket. I remember that everyone was thrilled for Volandri. It’s always special when you play at home”, said Berrettini.

Last year Berrettini made a big breakthrough by reaching the US Open semifinals. John McEnroe was one of the first to congratulate with the Italian player on this achievement.

“Last year John told me that he enjoyed watching me play. After my defeat against Federer at Wimbledon John predicted that I would reach the top 10. He was the first that I could achieve this feat”.

Berrettini was supposed to take part in the UTR Pro Match tournament in Palm Beach, but he was forced to miss this exhibition tournament due to a minor ankle injury.

“The players, who took part in this tournament, told me that it was like a training session. They could not shake their hands. Playing tennis is not simple because there are no social distance restrictions but tennis is a global sport and it is impossible to travel around the world. It is unlikely that the season will resume this year and spectators will be able to attend tennis matches this year”, said Berrettini.

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Dominic Thiem reaches the final in Kitzbuhel

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Dominic Thiem came back from losing the first set to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-2 en route to reaching the final at the Thiem’s 7 tournament in Kitzbuhel.

 

Thiem earned two breaks in the third and fifth games to race out to a 4-1 lead. Bautista Agut got both breaks back in the sixth and eighth games to draw level to 4-4 forcing the match to the tie-break. The Spanish player won the tie-break 7-5 to take the opening set.

Thiem slowly found his rhythm again in the second set and earned two break points in the fourth game but he was not able to convert them. The home star dropped only two points on his serve until the end of the second set and converted two of the three break points to clinch the second set 6-2.

Thiem earned a break in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead and held on his next service games. The tournament organizer sealed the third set 6-2 with his double break with a blistering return on the match point in the eighth game securing his spot in the final. Thiem will face either Andrey Rublev or Matteo Berrettini in the final.

The second semifinal between Andrey Rublev and Matteo Berrettini was stopped several times before being called off due to rain, when Rublev was leading 6-4 2-1 in the second set.

Both players went on serve until the 10th game, when Rublev earned the break at 30 to win the first set 6-4. The match was interrupted after three games in the second set and will resume on Saturday.

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Corrado Barazzutti: “Fabio Fognini is not ready to play at the US Open,but he will prepare for the European clay tournaments”

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Italian Davis Cup captain Corrado Barazzutti talked about Fabio Fognini’s recovery from surgery and the goal to reach the ATP Finals in London during an interview to Italian tennis television channel Supertennis.

 

Fabio Fognini underwent surgery on both ankles at the end of May to get rid of the injury problems, which have affected his preparation for a long time. Barazzutti, who coaches Fognini said that Fabio will not play at the US Open and the US hard-court season and doubts that the US tournaments will take place.

“There is no time enough to play at the US Open. If I can express my opinion, I don’t think that US Open will be held this year. The situation in the US is too serious and I doubt that it will improve in a short period of time. As there is no strict lockdown in the USA, the number of coronavirus cases will continue to be high. They will not be able to hold the US Open. A final decision will be taken in mid July. It is too complicated to go to the USA. Players do not want to go there. It’s still too complicated to play in a country, which is still hit hard by covid-19”, said Barazzutti.

The ATP recently announced that the ATP Ranking will now cover a period of 22 months from March 2019 to December 2020 to provide flexibility and fairness across all levels in parallel with the condensed number of points available as part of the revised provisional 2020 calendar.

Following the changes to the ATP Ranking Fognini will focus on the European clay season, which includes two Masters 1000 in Madrid and Rome and the French Open without the fear to lose the points he won last year. Fognini achieved his best results in Monte-Carlo, Canadian Open and Shanghai, which will not take place this year or are in doubt. This means that Fognini will not lose the points from this tournament and has a good chance to qualify for the ATP Finals in London.

“We prepare for the clay season hoping that Madrid, Rome and Paris will be held. Fabio could continue with the European indoor season with the goal to qualify for the ATP Finals. Let’s see if the coronavirus will allow us to continue this plan. Fabio will resume training gradually from Monday. Fabio is in good shape and sped up his recovery after surgery. We are very confident”, continued Barazzutti.

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Roger Federer admits that the time to retire is getting closer

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Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has admitted in an interview to German newspaper Zeit that he is getting closer to retirement from professional tennis, but he still motivated to return to the court and pursue new goals.

 

Federer has not played a match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinal last January. The Swiss legend will be sidelined for the rest of the 2020 season after undergoing two knee surgeries. Federer said that he will miss playing in front of his fans once he retires from tennis.

“In principle I only was concerned with my health, but now I miss the feeling of playing in a full stadium. I know that the time to retire is getting closer and closer and I think I will miss the circuit very much. I must be patient and keep working. It would be easy to have retired at this juncture, but I want to continue giving myself the opportunity to enjoy tennis. I will take some time to get back in good shape”, said Federer.

 Federer talked about his close relationship to his friend and rival Rafael Nadal. The Spanish player leads 24-16 in his 40 head-to-head matches against his Swiss rival. However, Federer beat Nadal in seven of his past eight clashes. They last met at Wimbledon in 2019 when Federer prevailed in four sets 7-6 1-6 6-3 6-4. In 2019 they also met in the Roland Garros semifinal where Nadal won in straight sets.

“When I met him, he surprised me because he was very shy off the court and you saw him compete and the aggressiveness with which he played was incredible. There was a lot of rivalry between us and sometimes it was not easy. We had great duels, but we always had respected each other and knew that we we were references for many people and represented our beloved sport. Our families get along very well, we always congratulate each other on the triumphs”, said Federer.

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