Italian tennis star Matteo Berrettini acknowledged that players have a different approach to you once you become a star and a seeded player in the draws. Berrettini, the top-ranked Italian tennis player, won his maiden ATP title on the clay courts of Gstaad in 2018, before he won titles Budapest and Stuttgart a year later.
In 2019, Berrettini also made his big breakthrough at the Grand Slam level as he made the semifinal at the US Open and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 8 in the world. “[In 2018, I started the season at] No. 135 so it is definitely different.
You feel that when you are in the draw, they are looking at you like, ‘Okay, this guy is a seed so I want to beat him even more’. It definitely changed, but it is what you have to take,” Berrettini said in the latest episode of ATP’s show Unmasked.
“There are pros and cons and I think you have to get used to it. Once you play tournaments and matches, you are going to be able to get used to it and to get better at it”.
Berrettini’s goals have gotten bigger since
After an outstanding 2019 season, Berrettini started aiming at even better results and even a better ranking.
"Once you get [to the Top 10], you cannot say, ‘Okay, I am going to be happy if I am Top 20’… Obviously, it is not bad at all,” said Berrettini. “When I was younger and I was thinking about myself being Top 20, I was like, ‘Okay, it could be a nice goal for my career’.
I was Top 8 and obviously I am chasing to be even better, but I got there without thinking about it. It is in my head, but I have to work every day and hopefully I can improve my best ranking”. Berrettini, now ranked at No.
10 in the world, is one of the four Italians ranked inside the top-40. Only France also have four players ranked inside the top-40. ”It is something that we should be really proud of. All the players are really nice guys and there are others coming,” said Berrettini.
“It is a really healthy environment for tennis in Italy… The guys are great, Lorenzo [Songeo], Jannik [Sinner], Fabio [Fognini] and also the other guys. We have fun when we practise together. We are helping each other to reach our goals and I think this is something really healthy and really great for tennis”.