Matteo Berrettini has made a name for himself in the last couple of years, entering the top-10 and becoming a Major finalist. The Italian started his tennis journey after watching Roger Federer, cheering for the Swiss and sharing victories and defeats with him.
Matteo got a chance to play the Laver Cup instead of Roger when the Swiss decided to retire after one doubles match. Berrettini felt honored, explaining how much it means to him to stand near his idol and talk to him. Also, Matteo recalled how he cried alongside Roger following the 2009 Australian Open final.
Federer lost it to Rafael Nadal in five sets and could not hide his emotions during the trophy ceremony.
Matteo Berrettini cheered for Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal in a Major final.
It was the first meeting between Rafa and Roger in Melbourne, and the Spaniard prevailed 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 in four hours and 19 minutes for his first hard-court Major title.
Nadal collected the remaining pieces of strength left in his body following an epic semi-final to cross the finish line first and become the champion. Federer won one point more than Nadal, but not those that mattered the most in the decider.
He lost serve seven times and converted six out of 19 break chances. Roger stayed in touch with Rafa in the more extended points, but it was not enough to carry him home after losing ground in the final set. "I was emotional.
I told Roger why we were crying. The reason I chose to be a tennis player was because of him. He probably does not know, but when I was a kid, and he was in Rome, I was trying to sneak on the main court. I'm not lying when I say I'm here because of Roger.
He was the one that I was looking up to and the one that I was supporting and cheering for. I was getting upset after his losses. I remember crying after Roger lost 2009 Australian Open final because he also cried. Living these moments at the Laver Cup alongside Roger means everything to me for all those reasons.
I was pumped to step in instead of Roger and give my best. This weekend, we are celebrating something more significant than the Laver Cup or tennis; we are celebrating Roger himself," Matteo Berrettini said.
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