World No. 7 Matteo Berrettini revealed he warmed up Roger Federer for the 2015 Rome Masters. Federer made a slow start to his Rome semifinal but still managed to overcome Stan Wawrinka and reach the final. Berrettini admitted he was sweating after Federer made a slow start because he feared he didn't do a good enough job.
"Federer got off to a bad start to the Rome semifinal and my friends asked 'what did you do to him in the warm-up?!' I began to sweat. Then luckily he won but lost the final," Berrettini said on the Cachemire Podcast, as revealed by Matteo Mosciatti.
Berrettini grew up idolizing Federer
"Federer. I admire the example he sets and the time he spends playing tennis off the court. I feel like he understands that he has the power to have a influence on the world. Whether it's doing some charity event or working hard tough on the ATP Players Council.
He uses the sport and its popularity to impact as many lives as he can in a very positive way," Berrettini said of Federer back in October. Berrettini lost his first two meetings against Federer. Berrettini and Federer were projected to meet in the French Open round-of-16 but the Swiss gave the italian a walkover.
"I grew up watching Roger Federer and always cheering for him. I supported him as much as I could, watching him on TV every time he played. Then I realized that I was playing the same tournament as him. So I couldn't support him in the same way anymore.
I have told this story to Roger because now we get along so well on the Tour. I think that's why the first time we met on Center Court at Wimbledon he destroyed me, because I couldn't believe I was still there. playing against my idol on one of the most iconic courts on the Tour," Berrettini explained.