Matteo Berrettini booking the last spot at the ATP Finals comes as no surprise if you’ve been watching his meteoric rise through the tennis ranks this year. The 23-year-old sensation has been on fire all year long, beginning with his second ATP title at Budapest in April.
Since that time, he’s progressed through to the semifinals in almost every tournament including Halle, Shanghai, and Vienna only recently, among his 40-match winning streak this year. "I would have never thought I could qualify a couple of months ago," said Berrettini,"I am just so happy to be among the Top 8 in London.
It is a great satisfaction and the reward for the superb work that my team, my family and of course myself have put in place this whole year. Now we prepare for the final show! I will be ready." Alongside his two clay titles, the Rome native won his first grass ATP crown at Stuttgart, as well as making the Bavarian International final.
Perhaps most impressive, his grand slam performance surpassed all expectations with a fourth-round spot at Wimbledon, and a semifinal push at the US Open. In both, two of the sport’s titans stopped his momentum: Roger Federer at the All England Club, and Rafael Nadal at Flushing Meadows.
Yet to title on hard courts, Berrettini has demonstrated great strides in this direction, surging to the semis at Shanghai and Vienna, and the quarters at St. Petersburg. A hard-court title is sure to follow. Much has been talked about the surge in Italian men’s tennis, for which Matteo Berrettini is a testament of its great success.
Prior to this year, only two Italian men had broken into the Top 10. Alongside Fabio Fognini in June, Berrettini is now the second Italian man this year, with both players doubling that statistic in 2019. Italy has the fourth most players in the Top 100 of the ATP including Lorenzo Sonego (No.
54), Marco Cecchinato (No. 71), Andreas Seppi (No. 74), Stefano Travaglia (No. 88), and Salvatore Caruso (No. 96). ”It is crazy, because we had to wait a lot,” said Berrettini “Fabio won a crazy tournament [in Monte-Carlo], he was playing so good.
He was looking for this achievement a bit longer than me, he [has had] a really great career. After winning an ATP Masters 1000 [title], the Top 10 is the next step, so I was happy for him and now I am super proud of myself”.
With Matteo Berrettini emerging victorious among the many rivals for the eighth spot in London, this means that eight separate countries will be represented at the 02 Arena. Novak Djokovic (Serbia), Nadal (Spain), Federer (Switzerland), Dominic Thiem (Austria), Alexander Zverev (Germany), and debutants Daniil Medvedev (Russia), and Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) round out the global map.
“This year looks to be one of the most interesting player fields in the history of the tournament with the established superstars of the ATP Tour challenged by the next generation, “ said Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President, 'The longevity of the Tour’s global icons combined with the impressive rise of the future stars of our sport over the past couple of years has made for a fascinating spectacle. It’s all to play for in London”. The opening draw ceremony will take place on Tuesday, November 5.