Matteo Berrettini Targets ATP Cup Glory With ‘Stronger’ Italian Team - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Matteo Berrettini Targets ATP Cup Glory With ‘Stronger’ Italian Team

The world No.7 is aiming to kickstart his new season on a high but it will not be a easy task.

Avatar

Published

on

Matteo Berrettini (ITA) at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 3 Wednesday 30/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

There is no doubt that Italian men’s tennis is on the rise and Matteo Berretini is hoping his team will be able to prove this at the upcoming ATP Cup.

 

The country currently boasts eight players in the world’s top 100 which is headed by world No.7 Berrettini. In recent years they have proven themselves to be a force to be reckoned with thanks to the rise of rising stars such as Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti. On the ATP Tour this year Italy won a total of 7 titles which is the joint-highest alongside Russia.

Keen to continue their success in 2022, Berrettini has proclaimed that his team for the ATP Cup is stronger than before. Also in the team is world No.10 Sinner, former top 10 player Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego and Simone Bolelli.

“We feel happy to be here,” atptour.com quoted Berrettini as saying during Italy’s pre-tournament press conference. “I think it’s possible [to win the title], the team is even stronger this year, so for sure our aim is to win the title. We know it’s going to be a tough job. Every match is going to be difficult, but we believe that we can do it.”

Italy has been drawn in a tough Group with only the winner progressing to the knockout stages. Over the coming week they will take on hosts Australia, France and reigning champions Russia. Russia will be led by Daniil Medvedev, who is the highest ranked player participating in the event. However, the country has suffered a blow recently following a series of positive COVID-19 tests among their players.

“He is really solid,” Berrettini said of Medvedev. “He’s moving really well, playing deep, serving well, returning. I mean, he’s not missing at all when he’s playing well. So especially on hard court he’s probably together with Novak (Djokovic), the best player we have now. He’s really tricky to play.”

The two are set to clash on Thursday which will be a chance for Berrettini to avenge his loss to the world No.2 at the same tournament 12 months ago. Whilst Russia’s favourite status has weakened due to the loss of Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev, Medvedev is relishing the challenge he faces.

“I like this kind of pressure. It makes you play better. I think it’s going to make all of us four guys just play the best tennis that we can.” He said.

As for Italy’s No.2 player, Sinner, he says he is ‘honoured’ to be playing in the Group. The 20-year-old has already won five Tour titles in his career and is currently the youngest player in the top 30 at 10.

“It’s a big honour to play in this special group,” Sinner stated. “We have an incredible team. Every one of us tries to do our best. I’m looking forward to trying to be 1-0 up every time we play. And then let’s see. We have an incredible second player, and we have great, great doubles, as well.”

The ATP Cup will begin on New Year’s Day. Italy’s first match will be against Australia on Sunday. Each tie consists of two singles matches and one doubles.

ATP

French Open Crowd Crossed The Line, Says Frustrated Alex de Minaur

The Australian explains why he wasn’t entirely happy with the atmosphere in the French capital.

Avatar

Published

on

Alex de Minaur didn’t hide his irritation with fans at Roland Garros following his shock exit from the tournament on Tuesday.

 

The 19th seed fell to home player Hugo Gaston in a five-set epic that lasted more than four hours. De Minaur had a 3-0 lead in the decisive set but ended up losing 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(10-4) to the world No.74. He has now lost in the first round of the French Open in four out of six appearances.

During the match De Minaur had to contend with a boisterous crowd who were cheering on Gaston. He faced some booing and jeering from those in the stands which the world No.20 was not happy about.

“I think there is a difference between a great atmosphere and supporting your fellow countrymen, which is completely fine and it’s great. I’m sure for him was an amazing atmosphere, he enjoyed every second of it.” De Minaur said afterwards.
“But there is a line that, when I’m getting told things by people in the crowd, making eye contact with me after I hit a double fault, I think there is a certain line that needs to be kind of looked at.”
“Good on him (Gaston) for playing a great match in front of his home crowd and being able to feed off that, and you know, having a moment that I’m sure he won’t forget.”

De Minaur refused to go into what exactly was being said to him from certain members of the crowd but insisted that he was not being intimidated by what was occurring on the court. Towards the end of the match a series of unforced errors, including double faults, costed him dearly.

“I’m pretty sure I dealt with it pretty well, all things considering,” he said. “I was in the moment. I was in the heat of the moment battling out there. It felt like kind of an away Davis Cup match, and I thrive on that. It was a lot sometimes and sometimes you do your best to focus on playing a tennis match. There are outside factors that you do your best to control.“

Heading into Paris, De Minaur had shown encouraging results on the clay with semi-final runs to tournaments in Barcelona and Lyon. He also reached the third round in Rome and took a set off Andrey Rublev when they clashed in Monte Carlo.

Given those recent results on the Tour, it is clear that the latest defeat is one that will sit with him for a while.

Ideally, I will sleep tonight and I will forget all about it, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case,” de Minaur admits.
“It’s disappointing, as everything is, it is what it is. It’s a sport that we are playing. You have your good days, your bad days. You win absolute battles; you lose absolute battles.”

As for Garon, he will face Argentine qualifier Pedro Cachin in the second round. This year’s draw is a golden opportunity for the Frenchman with him guaranteed to not play a seeded player until at least the last 16 if he makes it that far.

Continue Reading

ATP

Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Wimbledon Points Removal

The world No.1 states that he will always support the views of his peers.

Avatar

Published

on

By

Novak Djokovic (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

By Kingsley Elliot Kaye

In his press conference following his win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic expressed his views about the ATP decision to remove points from Wimbledon.

 

Negatively affected by such a decision – he will drop 2000 points – the world No.1 praised the ATP’s stance and called for players’ unity.

“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences. So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He said.

Djokovic criticized the lack of communication between the parties involved, in particular with regard to a document of recommendation by the English Government which contained diverse options. Had it been discussed by the All England Club with ATP and players, a compromise may have been reached.

“I think it was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But, you know, during these times, it’s a super sensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it’s unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification.” He continued.

Djokovic also mentioned other suggestions coming from WTA and ATP, that possibly men’s and women’s players from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia could play together at some exhibition event during the slam or something like this and prize money could go to the victims in Ukraine. There were different ideas, but there was never really a strong communication coming from Wimbledon.

He stressed that removing the points from Wimbledon, therefore not allowing players to earn or to defend points, is a decision that affects everyone, a lose-lose situation for everyone, as he called it.

Nonetheless, the charm and prestige of Wimbledon shall rest unaltered and its meaningfulness extends far beyond: “A Grand Slam is still a Grand Slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child. You know, I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else.”

Continue Reading

ATP

Injury-Hit Borna Coric Reacts To First Grand Slam Win In 16 Months

The Croat admits he was unsure how his shoulder would hold up in his opening match at Roland Garros.

Avatar

Published

on

Borna Coric - US Open 2020 (via Twitter, @usopen)

Borna Coric said he is relieved that his body managed to hold up during his opening win at the French Open on Sunday.

 

The former world No.12 spent almost three hours on the court before defeating Spain’s Carlos Taberner 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, in what was his first Grand Slam match of any kind since the 2021 Australian Open. Paris is only the seventh tournament Coric has played in since returning to the Tour following a year-long absence due to shoulder surgery. The 25-year-old is yet to win back-to-back matches this season.

It does feel great. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of my shoulder because I’ve never been in the fourth set, fifth set (of a match) for one-and-a-half years,” said Coric.
“So it was also kind of worrying for me, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how I’m going to feel and how my whole body is going to behave in those later sets. Obviously I’ve been practicing it, but it’s really never the same.”

Impressively the Croat produced a total of 54 winners against 39 unforced errors in his latest match in the French capital. Furthermore, he won 76% of his first service points and 53% of his second.

“The last few weeks haven’t been very easy, I lost many tight matches. I mean, I was also quite happy with my tennis, but I was just losing,” he reflected.

Coric was once tipped to be the future of men’s tennis after rising quickly up the ranks at a young age. In 2014 he was the youngest player to end the season in the top 100 and a year last he was the youngest to do so in the top 50. He has recorded a total of nine wins over top five players, including Roger Federer, as well as winning two Tour titles.

In the second round at Roland Garros Coric will take on the formidable Grigor Dimitrov who has been ranked as high as third in the world. He will enter the clash as the underdog given his ongoing comeback from injury. At present Coric’s principal focus is on his body but that will change in the coming weeks.

Until Wimbledon my health needs to come first and after Wimbledon I can kind of try to switch in my mind so I can start playing more and more tournaments. I can train more and I can focus more on the tennis rather than on my shoulder,” he explains.

Coric has reached the third round of the French Open on four previous occasions.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending