Matteo Berrettini (11/2 2022 Wimbledon Men’s Singles Outright) says he has no doubts that he can go one better than last year by winning his maiden Grand Slam at Wimbledon.
After beating Herbert Hurkacz to become the first Italian to reach the men’s final at SW19, he won the opening set against Novak Djokovic, only to go down 7-6 4-6 4-6 3-6 as the Serb secured his 20th major title.
It was a mixed day for Berrettini, who left Wimbledon soon after his defeat to attend the Euro 2020 final in which his country broke English hearts with a dramatic penalty shootout victory.
The 26-year-old was even invited onto the field to take part in the celebrations and is now hoping to match his compatriots by lifting a major trophy in London.
Berrettini begins his campaign on Tuesday against Chile’s Cristian Garin and heads into the third Grand Slam of the year as arguably the form player in the world on grass (Berrettini 2/5 to win 3-0).
After marking his return from a three-month layoff with a hand injury by winning in Stuttgart, he backed it up by defending his title at Queen’s last Sunday.
That’s enough to see him installed as the second favourite in the outright market behind 5/6 Djokovic, with Rafael Nadal, who has won both the Australian and French Opens this year, 7/1.
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Seeded eighth, Berrettini could face Nadal in the semi-finals, with Diego Schwartzman the next highest-ranked player in Section 5.
If the draw works out, Mallorca Championships winner Stefanos Tsitsipas would be his opponent in the quarter-finals and after all that, a rematch with Djokovic could then await in the final.
The Roman is far from intimidated and clearly has an affinity with the courts of South West London.
Berrettini is excited to see if he can go all the way this year, insisting that he has every confidence in how his game is shaping up heading into the tournament.
“There’s something special [about it], I cannot even tell you or explain to you why or what it is,” he told the Guardian. “But it just feels really nice. To win it, I don’t even know.
“It sounds crazy but at the same time I know I can do it. It would mean a lot and it would mean for sure the highest moment of my career and my life.”
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