Matteo Berrettini revealed he couldn't sleep on Friday night becaise he was too emotional over Roger Federer's final match and admitted it was the Swiss who inspired him to pursue a tennis career. Berrettini, who is representing Team Europe at this year's Laver Cup edition, witnessed Federer's final match from Team Europe bench.
"I couldn't sleep, I was really emotional," Berrettini said in his on-court interview, per Eurosport. "I told him why we were crying. The reason why I chose to become a tennis player was because of him. He probably doesn't know but when I was a kid and he was playing in Rome, I was trying to sneak into centre court because I didn't have a ticket.
He was my idol. He inspired me so much. Not just me but billions of people. He did everything for the sport and for me in general. I'm so happy to be here. I have to thank him, but I've got chills guys. It's tough for me."
Berrettini on having Federer in his corner
Berrettini didn't play on Friday, but competed on Saturday. In his first match at this year's Laver Cup edition, Berrettini defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (11) 4-6 10-7.
Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, gave Berrettini some tips - which the Italian used. Listening to Federer paid off as Berrettini managed to close out Auger-Aliassime in three sets. "I feel like I cannot screw up!" Berrettini added.
"It's actually unbelievable. "One of the reasons I couldn't sleep was he was crying on my shoulder and I was like: 'Is that real? Roger Federer?' Today, he gave me some tips and it worked out pretty well, so thanks, Roger."
Berrettini grew up watching and idolizing Federer. Over the last few years, Berrettini several times spoke about how Federer inspired him to pursue a professional tennis career. Now, Berrettini is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Federer and one day become a Grand Slam champion and reach the top spot.