2021 was a record year for Italian tennis. Matteo Berrettini was the first Italian to reach the Wimbledon final, the first to play twice at the Nitto ATP Finals and to finish three seasons in the Top 10. Number 6 in the world this week, the third highest position achieved by a Blue in tennis history, Berrettini appeared dapper in a tuxedo on the Ariston stage on the first night of the Sanremo Festival.
"I am very happy, it is a very strong emotion," said Berrettini, interviewed by Amadeus. "The great champions like Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Federer have a lot of experience and unfortunately they beat us again.
We are working to take their place, I hope to surpass them even before they stop playing", he explained. Unfortunately, returning to the recent experience at the Australian Open and the brush with the fans during the match against Monfils, "the Australian public It was like the one in Sanremo.
It is important to have character, but be respectful. Against Monfils, After more than four hours, I also felt that I was pumping adrenaline and mischief. I used that energy to win the game, I wanted to blow off some steam," he said.
Italy's number 1 also spoke about his relationship with his girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic. “When we train I have to make him win, otherwise it's a mess. We can see each other in important tournaments, when we play in the same place.
Ours is a life that is always there,” he said.
James Blake on Novak Djokovic
Former World No. 4 James Blake believes Novak Djokovic will go down as the "greatest champion" in tennis history. The American feels the World No.
1 can continue to stay at the top of the game for a few more years. “We’d love to have him, he’s one of the greatest champions we’ve ever had in the sport. I believe he will go down as the greatest champion.
He still got quite a few more years of being at or near the top of the game," Blake said. "It’s a matter of him figuring out how to navigate this time, the protocols, what’s safe, what isn’t safe?” Novak Djokovic is set to make his return to competitive action at the Dubai Tennis Championships next month.
The Serb is on the entry list for the ATP 500 event. Djokovic, a five-time champion in Dubai, did not participate in the tournament last year.