Photo Credit – si.robi, Berrettini WM19 (4) (48522037542), CC BY-SA 2.0
Italy’s Matteo Berrettini has confirmed that he would be happy to take part in both the French and US Open later this year as tennis looks to get back on schedule.
A new calendar has been suggested which would see the US Open take place in early September, with a quick turnaround leading to the French Open just one week later. Some top players have issued their concerns over such a tight schedule, but the World Number 8 is willing to play in both if certain questions are answered.
“There are a lot of questions that need to be answered,” said Berrettini. “People organizing the US Open and these other tournaments have to answer whether we have quarantine issues if we travel to the US, so, first of all, I will think about my health and then decide what I will do.
“If the conditions are good, I could play both, but we have to wait and see. We don’t know what will happen.”
With Wimbledon having already been cancelled, the next confirmed tournament is the Australian Open, but tennis organizers are keen to get some major tennis played as soon as possible. Berrettini’s comments come after his strong showing in the Ultimate Tennis Showdown event staged at Patrick Mouratoglou’s tennis academy in Nice recently.
He beat World Number 5, Stefanos Tsitsipas, in the final to claim an impressive victory. His win over the player known as The Greek God should not be underestimated, as he is three places below him in the world rankings, but some way adrift of his rival in the odds for the first major tournament of the 2021 season. Currently, Bwin has Berrettini as an outsider to win the Australian Open, whereas Tsitsipas is amongst the six favorites, demonstrating the Italian’s growing potential on the world stage. There is hope in the Italian’s camp that sealing the UTS title is a precursor to something more impressive.
Not only does Berrettini’s win suggest he is beginning to achieve some of his growing potential, but the uncertain calendar could also potentially pave the way for a new face to impress in a Grand Slam competition. With some top names uncertain as to whether they would appear, and with Roger Federer out until the end of the year, the Rome-born 24-year-old believes that the scene is set for a young player to make a claim for some serious silverware.
“For sure, I think these guys (Novak, Djokovic and Nadal) will be ready, but the youth guys are getting better too. I played last week against Andrey Rublev and he is playing really well. The young guys are working really hard and hopefully there could be a bit of a change when tennis comes back.”
Berrettini’s win against Tsitsipas is the culmination of an impressive climb through the ranks, which saw him defeat no fewer than six top 10 ranked players in 2019. His first big win came against Alexander Zverev, then ranked fifth in the world to Berrettini’s 33, in the Italian Open. By the end of the year, Berrettini had climbed to eighth in the world, defeating Dominic Thiem (fifth at the time) in both the Shanghai Masters and the ATP Finals in the UK.
In the 2019 US Open, he made history as he beat Gael Monfils in a fifth set tiebreak to become the first Italian man to reach the semi-finals of the competition since 1977. ATP Tour explains how he was only the second Italian ever to reach that stage, following in the footsteps of Corrado Barazzutti, a feat he is sure to want to repeat should he make an appearance in New York later in the year.
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