Matteo Berrettini is a particularly useful substitute for Team Europe at the Laver Cup London 2022.
To say Berrettini – who was confirmed to have filled Roger Federer’s singles place this weekend – has thrived in the English capital would understate the Italian’s impressive serving.
Berrettini’s list of notable events is as follows: he was unbeaten in two editions at the Queen’s Club on turf, made it to Week Two of the Grand Slam first at Wimbledon, then appeared in his first and only Grand Slam final in the famous SW19 tennis zip code. for a year.
His first appearance in the season-ending ATP Finals in 2019 also came at The O2, which happened to be the venue for the Laver Cup this weekend.
“It’s one of the most historic cities we have for tennis, and not just tennis,” says Berrettini, who first tasted at last year’s Laver Cup in Boston. “Personally, I have great memories of Wimbledon. The O2 arena, I love this arena and I’m sure it would be great to play there.
“The team competition is different. I think it’s more special because we don’t play often in these competitions, so we feel more pumped.”
Berrettini’s assignment in Massachusetts was eventful. Not only did he meet his friend, Felix Auger-Aliassime, but the duo produced the longest match in event history at two hours and 52 minutes.
Breakout play from Berrettini saw the Roma native save 12 of 13 break points and overturn a 7-5 deficit at Laver Breaker on opening day. However, Team World’s only point came over the weekend when John Isner, Denis Shapovalov defeated Berrettini and Alexander Zverev in doubles in another Liver Breaker to finish day one.
“I had the best time in the last year,” Berrettini says. “I wish I could be here again. The team is incredible.”
Captain Bjorn Borg’s roster includes Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, with the so-called Big Four joined by Grand Slam finalists Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Rudd – who ended Berrettini’s stay at the US Open this month in the quarter-finals.
“I watched them as kids, and I cheered them up,” Berrettini says of the Big Four. “So being on the same team, it’s something I can’t really explain, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Berrettini is a huge fan of Federer, and the 20-time Grand Slam winner has penned a rare and unpleasant experience in London for the 26-year-old.
Having fought the second week of a major tournament, Berrettini met Federer in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2019 and went out in a quick 1 hour 14 minute encounter.
He joked to Federer afterwards, “Thanks for the tennis lesson. How much do I owe you?”
Berrettini is certainly open to any guidance coming his way from his teammates this weekend, having taken advice from Federer at the Laver Cup Boston.
Scientist 15 says, “Probably one of the best things about these things is that everyone is completely different from one another.” “So they can give you different tips. After in the locker room, he (Federer) was really nice. He said what he thinks about the match against Felix, and I think it was really useful for the next matches, so I’m really looking forward to that this year.
Berrettini laughs: “If I need the energy, I’ll probably ask Rafa.” “If you need some advice on aerial balls or serving and shooting, it’s probably Roger.”
Britney himself knows a thing or two about tennis.
He sits in a very respectable 13th in the race for the ATP Finals in Turin – despite missing him for nearly three months with a right hand injury that necessitated surgery.
When he returned in June, Berrettini won his first two tournaments, on grass, making him a favorite at Wimbledon, but was later ruled out by a Covid match.
Back in the team environment, he won all three of his Davis Cup singles matches last week to help Italy reach the final stage, and he is keen to maintain a winning feeling in London.