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‘He’s the GOAT’- 27-Year-Old ATP Heartthrob Stuns Tennis Players and Fans as Roger Federer’s Favorite Rival Makes a Sudden Appearance in a Viral Photo

Published 06/02/2023, 2:32 AM EDT

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The world of tennis is filled with captivating stories, unexpected encounters, and the enduring influence of legends. Recently, a remarkable moment unfolded when Matteo Berrettini shared an intriguing post on his Instagram. The 27-year-old collaborated with one of his idols, the retired Russian tennis star Marat Safin. In 2003, Roger Federer himself expressed his admiration for Safin’s powerful and unique playing style. Thus, it created a furor among the fans who praised Safin’s incredible career.

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Berrettini had been away from tennis due to an abdominal injury. The Italian player decided to end his clay season early to expedite the rehabilitation process and prepare for the upcoming grass season.

Fans couldn’t contain their excitement after Roger Federer’s favorite rival’s Instagram post with Berrettini


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Roger Federer and Safin developed a close rivalry both on and off the court during their time on the Tour. Although Federer has largely had the upper hand in their meetings, both men have left a lasting impression. Federer said in 2003, “I like to play versus Marat Safin; I think he is a nice guy off the court. We always have enjoyable encounters.” It is obvious that Safin is one of Federer’s favorite rivals. His affable demeanor earned Federer’s admiration for the Russian as a person as well as a competitor.

Marat Safin’s presence has provided Matteo Berrettini with an opportunity to further develop his techniques and skills. The photo shared by the Italian star swiftly spread like wildfire among devoted followers of the sport. Fans spent time in active recollection of Safin’s incredible career.


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Matteo Berrettini recently had the unique opportunity to share a captivating picture on Instagram. The post showcased his intense training sessions on the concrete courts of Monte Carlo, Monaco with the one and only Marat Safin. The retired Russian star is a legendary figure who had ascended the world rankings to the coveted number one spot and was widely known as one of the finest players of the ’90s and 2000s.

The electric exchanges between Matteo and Safin added an extra layer of exhilaration to the sessions. It left fans astonished as they bore witness to the remarkable pair.

One fan shared, “On the one hand, one who handled more cool things than rackets, and on the other Matteo Bertinih mate if you become like Marat everything will be forgiven.

Another ecstatic fan commented, “He’s the 🐐”

An avid Instagram user wrote, “My favorite player as a kid. US Open Final win against Sampras. I love this sport.”


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Not only did these glimpses of genius flatter Matteo’s prodigious abilities, but they also highlighted his aspiration to constantly strive to improve and take on the toughest adversaries.

Safin had once shared kind words for the Swiss legend, Federer

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In 2021, Dinara Safina, a three-time Grand Slam champion and sister of Safin, shared an old photo on her Instagram story. The picture depicted a moment from 16 years ago, capturing Federer and Safin shaking hands after their intense semifinal match at the 2005 Australian Open. Safin emerged victorious, winning 9-7 in the fifth set, despite Federer having a match point in the fourth set. Safin went on to defeat Hewitt in the finals, securing his second Grand Slam title.


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After seeing Dinara’s story, Safin reposted the picture on his own Instagram story. He had expressed gratitude for the nostalgic memories. He mentioned that Federer is the last player standing from their generation and wished him continued success. He wrote, “Sister, tnx for the memories. Rogelio, last one standing from our Gen! Keep on kicking a**es! Respect, bratha,” wrote Safin. The duo had played 12 matches, with Federer holding a dominant 10-2 record.

WATCH THIS STORY: “The Other Two Have More Charisma”- Novak Djokovic Is Not in the League of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Says Former French Open Winner



Dr Aditya Raveendran Menon

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Aditya Menon is a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports, covering several high-profile tournaments and events. With a passion for writing that matches his love for the sport, he has a special interest in covering the activities of tennis legends like Serena Williams and the ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis. Aditya’s interest in tennis started at a young age when his father introduced him to the sport.

Edited By: Sheldon Pereira