A Loss To Remember For Italian Matteo Berrettini

On “Manic Monday,” the Italian took a huge loss to Wimbledon‘s king, Roger Federer

I first wrote about Matteo Berrettini nearly two years ago, saying he was an underrated NextGen talent. Now things have changed a bit, as the 23-year-old is an ambitious member of the ATP Top 20. With amazing results in the past months, the Italian jumped in the rankings, improving his career-high rank weekly. His game has become one of the most powerful on the tour, and we saw some of his best matches on grass.

Berrettini was crowned champion in Stuttgart, reached the semifinals in Halle, and pushed himself into the second week of the most prestigious Grand Slam of all, Wimbledon, where he earned a match against Roger Federer for a place in the quarterfinals. His win in the third round against Diego Schwartzman, saving three match points, gave him a lot of confidence to face the eight-time Wimbledon champion.

The match he had always dreamt of

This was the first meeting between the two. Berrettini confessed that the Swiss had always been his idol growing up, but he had to stop cheering for him once he saw their names on the same drawsheet of a tournament. Having the opportunity to face an idol, on such a huge stage as the Center Court of The Championships, is not something standard. Indeed, the emotions the Italian felt during the match were very difficult to handle–and it ended quickly, in just 74 minutes, with Berrettini winning a total of five games.

The numbers of the match

It was all set to be a great fight on Center Court. The most tragic FedFans were worried about a potential upset. In reality, the “Federer effect” was catastrophic for the young Italian, who ended winning just 40 points in total. Federer won almost double that, with 79. On top of that, look at the unforced errors: 23 for the Italian; just five for the Swiss. Even the serve, one of Berrettini’s best weapons, did not work Monday, getting under 50% of first serves in play.

What can the Italian learn from this loss

Knowing the amazing hard work behind the Italian’s game, this is surely just a bump in the road. Berrettini has plenty of time to work on his mental strength, and this match will of course be crucial for the rest of his career. Before the match, he was aware that he could create some dangers for Federer, but the 37-year-old, as always, was just too good.

The Berrettini we saw in the first week of the tournament is completely different from the side who showed up in the fourth round. The Italian has to restart improving his game starting from the positives things he learned from these matches. He showed great consistency, a very rare touch and also a quick way of thinking before hitting the ball. If he focuses on his sensibility too, he will of course be a player to watch through the hard court swing before the last Grand Slam of the year, the US Open.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Yes, good analysis.
    It looked like a classic case of a psychological barrier ( very low 1st serve %, huge no. unforced errors in a very short match), ie the same issue most of the next gen players have facing the players they grew up idolising. At some point ( hopefully soon) the floodgates will open and the younger ones will win slams; maybe then we can return to a more healthy big 10 or 12. It wouldn’t surprise if Berrettini is one of those leading the charge.

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