“Steal the Titles”: Matteo Berrettini Lists Down Attributes He Would Acquire From Rafael Nadal

Published 05/04/2021, 8:30 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 23, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie REUTERS/Albert Gea


Italian tennis star Matteo Berrettini has paid a glowing tribute to 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal.

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In a brief question-and-answer session with the host broadcasters of the Mutua Madrid Open, the current World No. 10 said that what sets the ‘King of Clay’ apart from the rest is his immense physical strength and the fact that he is left-handed. “The fact that he is so strong physically and also (a) lefty is a big weapon,” Berrettini said.

Matteo Berrettini said he would like to steal titles from Rafael Nadal

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To a question on whether there was anything that he would like to steal from the champion, the newly-crowned Serbian Open champion said cheekily that he would like to “steal the titles from Rafa”.

He then pointed out a quality that typifies not just the 20-time Grand Slam champion but just about all the tennis stars from Rafa’s homeland. The Italian said that all tennis players from Spain are characterized by their big hearts and their remarkable spirit and fighting qualities.

Matteo Berrettini says all Spanish tennis stars are fighters

Berrettini added that all his Spanish rivals are tough nuts to crack and Nadal even more so, given his unique skill-sets and status as one of the game’s all-time greats.

“Spanish players, they are really good fighters. They have a great heart and fight until the end, every point, every match,” the 23-year-old Italian said, adding that he would like to “steal” this unique characteristic that defines tennis stars from Spain.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in action during his second round match against Czech Republic’s Tomas Machac REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Berrettini has played Nadal only once, in the semi-final of the 2019 US Open, which the Spaniard won in straight sets.

The World N0. 10 launched his claycourt season in the Serbian capital Belgrade and would like to continue his winning momentum in Madrid. And he has already had the best possible practice for the tricky turf in the Spanish capital, having a hit with the five-time champion himself.

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Earlier this year, Berrettini led Italy’s charge at the ATP Cup in Melbourne and took his homeland to its maiden final in the tournament in the company of senior partner Fabio Fognini.

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The Italian withdrew from the Australian Open with an abdominal strain that he sustained in his grueling third-round win against Russian Karen Khachanov.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

854 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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