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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Father Of Dayana Yastremska Reveals The Reasons Behind Her Lacklustre Season

Alexander Yastremsky says his daughter was ‘mentally broken’ in recent weeks due to a personal issue.

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Rising star Dayana Yastremska struggled on the Tour during the second half of 2020 due to a family-related issue, according to her father.

 

The world No.29 closed out her season with three consecutive first round losses at the French Open, Ostrava and Linz to players who were ranked lower than her. Yastremska looked to be on course for a strong year after reaching the final of the Adelaide International in January. However, since then she has only managed to reach the quarter-final stage in one out of 10 tournaments played.

Reflecting on his daughter’s difficult season during an interview with Ukrainian Tennis, Alexander Yastremsky says she had been ‘mentally broken’ in recent weeks due to her mother having a series of surgeries on her eye.

“People were complaining like why Dayana had such poor results at Roland Garros and afterwards but they didn’t know it was a hard time for her mother,” he said.
“Before the first round she had a retinal detachment. She went through three surgeries in Paris and two more at home. Everything is fine now but at that time Dayana was broken mentally.”

Besides her mother’s health scare, Yastremska had to find a new structure in her team after the departure of Sasha Bajin following the US Open. Bajin, who is the former coach of Naomi Osaka, worked with her for less than a year. Last week it was confirmed that he will be working with Karolina Pliskova in the new year.

“Sascha Bajin is a good coach, very helpful but it turned out he wasn’t ours,” said Alexander. “I don’t look at this partnership as a mistake for Dayana, it was another experience for her but I don’t see any advantages either.”
“Everyone looks only at how good you play and what result you get.”

Prior to Bajin, Yastremska worked with Belgium’s Olivier Jeunehomme who guided her to three WTA titles between 2018-2019. Since his departure, she is yet to add to her title tally but did rise to a ranking high of 21st earlier this year.

“It’s not easy to work with Dayana she has a tough personality,” her father admits. “Relationships on and off the court are very important for her.
“Right now we have a new team, very positive and committed . That’s the key for us. There’s no need to brag about their achievements. Results will come and time will tell. Our focus is on the off-season and hard work.”

Yastremska has started her off-season in Dubai. She ends the year with a win-loss record of 15-12 and has made just over $486,000 in prize money.

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Leylah Annie Fernandez talks about the challenge to balance tennis and school

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Leylah Annie Fernandez told her story on Noah Rubin’s website Behind the Raquet. 

 

Fernandez won the French Open Junior title in 2019. The Canadian teenager born in 2002 made her Grand Slam debut at the 2020 Australian Open. She got through the qualifying round before losing to Lauren Davis in the opening round. 

Fernandez lost a WTA final against Heather Watson in Acapulco in 2020. One week later she upset Grand Slam champion Sloane Stephens to reach the quarter finals at the Monterrey Open before losing to eventual champion Elina Svitolina. 

Fernandez is now ranked world number 88. 

“I started playing tennis on a recreational level. At the age of ten, I decided to compete and become a professional player. My father was my coach, but is new to the tennis world since he was a soccer player. My dad surrounded us with other coaches who understood our philosophy, style and game. I never felt pressure from my father to play sports or do anything in life. He gave me the green light to make my own decisions and introduced me to many different activities. I played baseball, soccer, volleyball and ran on the track. However I loved tennis and once I realized there were Junior Grand Slams, I set the goal to win one. Last year I reached the Junior Australian Open final and was disappointed to lose. A few months later, I won the Junior French Open and became the first Canadian player in seven years to capture a Junior Grand Slam. This year I started playing on the WTA Tour”, said Fernandez. 

Fernandez spoke about the start of her career, the challenges she had to face and the balance between her tennis career and school. 

“It’s difficult to balance tennis, school and friends. When I started playing tennis, I was in regular school. I had friends and teachers who supported me but I constantly traveled to compete. I missed moments in my friends’ lives so it was hard to reconnect when I returned. I put my dream first and we had disagreements. I realized I wanted to play tennis full-time. My friends are now acquaintances but my family is always by my side. My two sisters are my best friends. They keep me going on the court and encourage me to achieve more in the sport”. 

Fernandez is planning to study at the University to secure her future after the end of her career. “I want to graduate from University and earn a college. I am currently attending the online programmme of Indiana University East. After tennis, I want to be involved in different business ventures and be able to help businesses succeed. I hope to inspire young Canadian players and show them we can become professionals in tennis and in the business world”, concluded Fernandez. 

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Casper Ruud Opens Up About What It Is Like Playing Roger Federer

The 21-year-old explains what it is like to face somebody who is considered by some as the ‘greatest legend’ in tennis.

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Norway’s top tennis player admitted that he had difficulty sleeping the night before he was set to play Roger Federer for the first time in his career.

 

Casper Ruud has shed light on what it was like for him playing the Swiss Maestro during an interview with TV 2. The 21-year-old took on Federer in the third round of the French Open last year which he ended up losing 6-3, 6-1, 7-6. At the time it was only Ruud’s fourth appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

“When you meet the man who is considered the greatest legend in your sport in history, it is clear that then you were a little extra nervous,” he said of 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer.
“I remember before I was going to play against Federer, it was a bit difficult to sleep the night before. When you lie with your head on the pillow, your thoughts come.”

Ruud says Federer’s achievements in the sport made him feel more nervous about playing him. Overall, the 39-year-old has won 103 ATP titles and currently holds the record for most time spent holding the world No.1 ranking at 310 weeks. He played his first ATP event at the 1998 Gstaad Open, which was a year before Ruud was born.

Although the Next Gen star says he has admiration for all members of the Big Three, which also include Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The two highest ranked players currently on the men’s tour.

“It was in Melbourne a few years ago, and then I remember that we sat in a large cafe where all the players sit to eat. When Federer came in, it was completely quiet and everyone turned around. Now the legend is here,” he said.
“These three legends, they look taller than they might be. They are probably around 1.85 meters, but it may seem that they are two meters because of the respect you have for them.”

Since his meeting with Federer in Paris, Ruud has managed to make a name for himself as he gradually climbs up the world rankings. In February he won the Argentina Open to become the first Norwegian player in history to have won a title on the ATP Tour. He also reached the final of another tournament in Santiago. In September he defeated Matteo Berrettini in the Italian Open to record his first and so far only win over a top 10 player in his career.

“I do not remember everyone in my career. But there are some matches that stand out a bit, and that you remember extra well. Some ball exchanges, some punches here and there that you get, which you usually do not do. It is something that stands out a bit,” Ruud explains.

Unusually Ruud confirmed that both of his parents are now classed as his employees. He is coached by his father Christian who is a former player himself. Christian is a former world No.39 who was his country’s highest ranked male player in history until his son.

“The ultimate boss is probably (my) mother. She rules over both of us. In between at least,” he jokes.

After ending his season with three consecutive Tour losses, Ruud closes out 2020 with a win-loss record of 22-13 and has won $965,653 in prize money. He is currently ranked 27th in the world.
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