Matteo Berrettini is set to make his debut at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown - UBITENNIS
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Matteo Berrettini is set to make his debut at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown



Matteo Berrettini is ready to make his debut at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, the innovative exhibition tournament organized by French coach Patrick Mouratoglou.


Berrettini was expected to play against Belgium’s David Goffin, but the inaugural day was postponed by rain.

“I tested the new rules in training. It’s completely different. It’s a race against time. I will be able to say more after the first week. The rules are intriguing, as they make the game more intense”, said Berrettini to Italian journalists.

 Patrick Mouratoglou is concerned that tennis is failing to renew its fanbase. According to Mouratoglou tennis needs to reinvent and become more interesting for the younger generation. Mouratoglou is using the tour’s suspension in the promotion of tennis.

The goal of its Ultimate Tennis Showdown is to create an innovative tournament to attract a new generation of fans.

Traditional tennis has not attracted a new audience. The average age of a fan is old and is getting older every year.

“For many years I have been worried about the future of tennis. The average age of a tennis fan is 61, which is very old for a fan base. Tennis is failing to renew its fanbase. That’s very worrying, because the future does not look bright”, said Mouratoglou.

Berrettini is surprised to hear that the average age of a tennis fan is 61.

“I did not expect this statistic. When I play tournaments I see many children, who ask me for an autograph. However, only only older people, who are retired or have more money to go to tournaments”, reflected Berrettini.  

Berrettini has returned to Europe after spending three months in Boca Raton with his girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic.

“Europe is different. I am now in France. I met my coach Vincenzo Santopadre, but I have not seen my parents yet. I am happy that I have returned to train with my team, although ATP Tournaments are not taking place at the moment. There are no official releases. Of course I would like to play as many tournaments as possible, but we have to be sure that everything is under control. The problem of tennis is travelling around the world. As far as the US Open is concerned, I did not think that the situation would improve so quickly in New York. The US Open organizers are doing everything to make players feel comfortable. If the tournament takes place, I will have to defend the points I collected last year when I reached the semifinal. It would not be the mosti deal situation for me to defend a Grand Slam semifinal, because I played just two official matches this year, but I have to accept that”.

Berrettini is not planning to play at the Italian tennis tournament at the end of June.

“I will stay in France for the next five weeks to play in the Mouratoglou tournament before playing in Kitzbuhel”.

Berrettini has ruled out the idea of playing until the age of 40. Roger Federer announced that he will take a long rest and make his return in 2021.

“My body would be destroyed, if I continued playing until the age of 40.  Federer has been lucky, as he has planned his career very well. Nobody else has ever managed to do that in the ATP Tour”.

In another interview on the Tennis Legends vodcast on Eurosport Berrettini explained his views on the ATP Players Relief Fund. He said that he understands the struggle of lower ranked players, but he prefers helping with other situatons during the current coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s complicated. It’s not so easy for me. I know that my words can be read in a way that is bad, but I don’t want to be that kind of guy. I am just saying that I know really well how these players are struggling because my brother is 500th in the world. I know the reality. I have been there, not for a long time luckily, but I have been there. I know and I am helping him. I am helping to as much as I can. I just said that in those tough moments. My priority is not helping tennis players, but I would rather help with other stuff. Then you can say like I said. You can help both, or maybe I can help none. It’s about me. It’s not mandatory. It’s not something that I must feel to do. What I want to do is to help with other situations, and this is all. You can take my words out of the context, and say that I don’t like tennis players, that I don’t like helping people, but that’s not true. I pick to help with certain stuff, and this is my decision”, said Berrettini.

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Former Roland Garros champions and five top 20 players to highlight a great edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo



The Ladies Open WTA International in Palermo will be the first tournament to be held next August since last February.


The Italian tournament will feature a great line-up which includes two confirmed past Roland Garros champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Ostapenko and five top 20 players. There is a good chance that 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep could be added in the field.

“We are glad about Simona Halep’s great interest in Palermo Ladies Open. We will be waiting for her at the Country Club for an historic edition of the Palermo tournament. We have been in contact with Halep’s manager for some time. We have been talking for days about her potential participation in Palermo. She is one of the best players in the world and her presence would contribute to make an already high-level tournament extrahordinary. We will leave our doors open to her for as long as possible, as well as for other top ten players that will want to resume their season in Palermo”, said tournament’s CEO Oliviero Palma.

The other stars who have signed up to the Ladies Open are 2019 Roland Garros champion Marketa Vondrousova, two Grand Slam semifinalists Elise Mertens (2018 Australian Open) and Anastasija Sevastova (2018 US Open), Aryna Sabalenka (winner at the Wuhan Open in 2018 and 2019, WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai in 2019 and Doha in 2020) and Elina Rybakina (winner in Hobart and finalist in St. Petersburg and Dubai in 2020), Dayana Yastremska (winner of three tournaments in Hong Kong in 2018, Thailand and Strasbourg in 2019).

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Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova lift the titles in Perugia



Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova won the Zzz Quill Tennis Tour in Perugia. Sonego followed up his Italian title won the previous week in Todi with a 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 win over Croatia’s Viktor Galovic (world number 269 and number 7 seed) in the final of the Perugia tournament.


“Galovic started very well. It was difficult to adjust to his game and improve during the match. I maintained the right attitude and I managed to win the title. I enjoyed two fantastic weeks in Todi and Perugia. This confirmed my good work in training in the past two weeks. I gave my best and I am confident for the rest of the season”, said Sonego.

World number 117 Liudmila Samsonova won the women’s title came back from one set down to beat world number 307 Stefania Rubini 4-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in the women’s final after saving two match points.

“I won a very tough final with a lot of ups and downs. I am happy that I played many matches. It was one of my goals on the eve of the tournament. I showed that I am able to keep the level of my tennis high, when I play focused”, said Samsonova.   



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[EXCLUSIVE] Brandon Nakashima: “I Love Federer, But My Game Resembles More Djokovic’s”

Nakashima speaks to UbiTennis about his liveliest memory of training with Nadal at Wimbledon. The duels he had with Lorenzo Musetti and Tseng Chun-Hsin, the high praise for Sebastian Korda and Hugo Gaston. Why he doesn’t like clubbing and what his new coach Pat Cash has been advising him to do.



The latest instalment of UbiTennis’ video series sees Ubaldo Scanagatta and Steve Flink speak with Brandon Nakashima. An 18-year-old American tennis star born on August 3, 2001, who goes by the nickname B-Nak.


He is at No.220 in the ATP Rankings (with a career best at 218) and is second-best among those who were born in 2001, trailing only Jannik Sinner. His surname is of Japanese origin, but it was his Vietnamese maternal grandfather who initiated him to the game of tennis when he was three. He is 1.85 metres tall and weighs 78 kilograms. He was born in San Diego, and his father Wesley was also born in California – his parents are both pharmacists. He played for the University of Virginia, where he was the Freshman of the Year for the Atlantic Coast Conference, before moving on to the pros.

Since Delray Beach, in February, he’s been working with Pat Cash, immediately reaching the quarter finals and beating four Top 100 players. His best shot is his two-handed backhand, and his favourite player is Federer. A superb athlete, he is considered the best American prospect. He is self-described as shy, but he actually isn’t that much, once he gets going. He loves sushi, but also admits to having a sweet tooth. Given the status of some of his victims, it can be assumed that he’s already better than his ranking.


Minute 00:00: Introduction and recap of his highest-profile wins.

03:40: His behaviour during the Covid-19 pandemic: “I wear a mask whenever I’m outside. I’ve been trying to stay cautious as much as possible in public areas”. He also appreciates the chance of being able to train at some local private courts.

05:07: The special relationship with his grandfather: “My mom’s dad is from Vietnam. He first started to get me out on the court when I was about three and a half years old, just feeding me balls at a local park and from that time onward I started practicing more and more everyday”.

06:45: Bonding with his main coach, Pat Cash, during the pandemic.

07:38: Cash claims he noticed immediately Brandon’s “extraordinary racquet control” – does he think that this is his best quality too?

08:42: Their first meeting: “We had a couple of mutual friends; at the time I had just turned pro and I was looking for a good coach…”

11:53: His idols growing up: “I always liked to watch Federer play, but I think now my game is more similar to Djokovic’s”.

12:40: The experience of hitting with Nadal: “A couple of years ago I was playing the junior Wimbledon tournament…”

14:36: His thoughts on the best future prospects…

17:20: His transition as a pro aged only 17: “It was crucial on and off the court for me to go to college and to then play a full season at 17 [Editor’s Note: at the University of Virginia], it helped my game and made me mature as a person. I’d advise most players to go to college and get that experience…”

19:45: Recapping his best junior Slam results.

21:25: Developing his game with Pat Cash: “During these training blocks here in California, we definitely decided to work a lot on the transition and net game to add more variety into my game…”

23:55: What are his current plans? “It’s tough to plan tournaments right now since we don’t know when or if they’re even starting…”

25:35: How does he feel about the issue of playing behind closed doors? “It will be interesting, everybody is so used to people watching, so I think most players will find it maybe a little weird at the beginning…”

26:47: His off-court life: “I try to relax and have fun. I like playing other sports, on days off I play golf with friends or relax at home watching TV, just getting the mind away from tennis. I don’t like going to dance or clubs, it never was my type of feeling of going out; I like a more chill state with my friends.”

30:04: His knowledge of tennis history.

31:30: Where does Brandon see himself in 2022/23? “The goal is to keep improving my results and my rankings, and maybe…”

33:20: After the Big Three era, who is his pick to become the next world N.1?

36:10: Pat Cash’s most frequent tip: “I have to train to get ready for the Slams…”

Article written and translated by Tommaso Villa

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