Vincenzo Santopadre, the coach of Top 10 tennis star Matteo Berrettini, says that the Italian player is ready and excited to start competing on the ATP Tour once again. The ATP Tour resumes this week with the Western & Southern Open in New York and it will be Berrettini's first tournament since January.
The tournament is also the first event on the ATP Tour since the shutdown in March and will be followed by the US Open Grand Slam event, also in New York.
Coach Vincenzo Santopadre says Matteo Berrettini is excited to play in New York
Santopadre, who has been working with the Italian youngster for several years now, spoke to the ATP Tour website about the return of the professional circuit and how the Italian has been preparing for the same.
"I think right now he is ready to play. He is excited. Everybody is excited to restart. Of course we know that the situation can’t be the same as last year, but nobody wants it because we know the situation is different.
We had a meeting regarding our aim for the Western & Southern Open and the US Open. I think the most important thing is finally he can feel again the smell of a tournament, to feel the stakes, to be in competition. He’s really enthusiastic to have the pleasure of being in competition."
Santopadre is a former professional tennis player from Italy himself and peaked at No. 100 in the world rankings in 1999. During his playing career, he scored wins over players such as Karol Kucera, Magnus Norman and Gustavo Kuerten.
During the lockdown, Santopadre says the the two worked together on his serve and return game and added that he, himself, will not be travelling to New York as he did not feel comfortable travelling given his age and the current health crisis.
24 year old Matteo Berrettini is ranked No. 8 in the world and achieved his best result at the majors when he reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and the semi-finals of the US Open last year. He has won 3 singles titles in his career so far.
He has a bye in the first round at the Western & Southern Open and is in the same section as Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. Berrettini also qualified for the season-ending ATP Finals in London last year.
After losing his opening two round robin matches to Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, he became the first Italian man to win a match at the event by beating Austria's Dominic Thiem.