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Matteo Berrettini is the first Italian to earn a win at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Berrettini: 'It’s Been An Unbelievable Season'

Italian reacts after defeating Thiem on Thursday at The O2

One year ago, Matteo Berrettini, then World No. 54, was well into his offseason. So even though the Italian, who beat Dominic Thiem 7-6(3), 6-3 on Thursday, did not qualify for the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals, it has been a tremendous year for the 23-year-old.

“I’m really proud of myself, but more for my team, my family, my friends. It’s been an unbelievable season. I didn’t expect at the beginning of the season to be here,” Berrettini said. ”I hope to come back next year. I just want to say thanks to those guys because without them it wouldn’t be possible.”

With his victory against Thiem, Berrettini became the first Italian to earn a win at the Nitto ATP Finals. In his first two matches in Group Bjorn Borg, he lost to Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, respectively.

“It was a great week,” Berrettini said. “Before the week started, my team, we talked a little bit and we said to each other, ‘Let's enjoy this week.’”

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It’s been a whirlwind of a season for Berrettini, who owned just 19 tour-level victories before the year. He won 43 matches in 2019, and became the fourth Italian to crack the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings since they were established in 1973.

Before the US Open, Berrettini was 17th in the ATP Race To London. But a dream run to the semi-finals in New York catapulted him into contention for the Nitto ATP Finals, for which he eventually qualified.

“Being here wasn't a goal at the beginning of the year. Also before the US Open, I didn't expect that. I wasn't thinking about that,” Berrettini said. “I knew that I was playing good in springtime, like [during the] clay season. It's just crazy that it happened… I’m happy.”