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Berrettini: My Best is Now

By Richard Pagliaro | Monday, July 5, 2021

Tennis is all about timing. Matteo Berrettini is bringing his best right now.

Berrettini blasted into his first Wimbledon quarterfinal blitzing Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-3, 6-1, for his ninth straight grass-court win.

More: Shapovalov Living the Dream

A man for all surfaces, the 2019 US Open semifinalist has now reached Slam quarterfinals on all three major surfaces: grass, clay and hard court. Berrettini backed up his run to the Roland Garros quarterfinals last month capturing his second grass court title at Queen's Club.

The seventh-seeded Berrettini has exploited a favorable draw at SW19—he's dropped just one set in four tournament wins and has yet to face a Top-50 ranked opponent—delivering dynamic, attacking tennis on his terms.

"I feel I am playing for sure the best tennis of my career. 2019 I was playing good, but everything was kind of new. I had to adjust a little bit," said Berrettini, who improved his career record on grass to 22-6. "Now I have more confidence for sure, more experience as well. I know I can achieve my best results like I'm doing quarters in Paris, quarters here.

"Obviously the tournament is not done yet. I'm really looking forward to achieving even more."

Tennis Express

This is where things will get interesting for the Rome resident, who will face either 16th-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime or fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev for a semifinal spot.

The Italian renaissance continues. The day began with two Italian men
—Berrettini and Lorenzo Sonego—contesting the fourth round marking the first time in 66 years two Italian men reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon. We've seen Jannik Sinner reach the Miami Open final and Lorenzo Musetti push world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to five sets at Roland Garros.

After reaching a historic quarterfinal on grass today, Berretini credited Italian Grand Slam champions Flavia Pennetta and 2010 Roland Garros champ Francesca Schiavone, with whom he occassionally trades text messages, for inspiring his major achievements—and strengthening his belief he can master a major too. 

"I remember I was playing I think a future in Antalya in 2015 when Roberta [Vinci] and Flavia, they reach the final in the US Open. It was such a great moment for all of us," Berrettini said. "I think when you're playing, you're a playing tennis, it doesn't matter if it's a girl or a guy, you just follow. You just cheer for them.

"I met Flavia a really long time ago when I used to practice in Rome. They always kind of help me because they were looking at me like the young one. Now obviously some of them they stop playing. Overall we have a great relationship. Also with Francesca Schiavone. I saw her in Madrid, then in Rome. She's still talking to my coach. We text a little bit. It's really nice.

"The environment, it's nice. I think it help us for sure."

Photo credit: Getty