Berrettini: 'Everybody Would Like To Beat Me'
Matteo Berrettini finished 2019 with a career-high FedEx ATP Ranking of No. 8 and made his debut appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals, resulting in him being selected by his peers as the Most Improved Player of the Year in the 2019 ATP Awards. In 2020, he wants even more.
ATP Tour followed the 23-year-old during his pre-season in Monte-Carlo, where he spent hours in the gym and on the court each day. Berrettini knows his Top 10 status means that he can no longer float quietly through draws, so he’s worked on beefing up all areas of his game to shine in the spotlight.
“Last year, they knew me, but not that much. Now they are studying my strokes, my plays, so it’s going to be tougher. Everybody would like to beat me because I’m Top 10,” Berrettini said. “I have to enjoy like I did this year, put in work and still improve… I hope I’m going to enjoy next season.”
Berrettini was guided through the pre-season by his longtime coach, Vincenzo Santopadre, who was selected by his peers as an ATP Coach of the Year nominee. The former Top 100 player insisted that, “Everybody on our team has to be better than the day before… To me, that’s the most important thing.” But Berrettini also made sure that his team strengthened its relationship for another busy year on Tour.
“I’ve been working with these guys since I was 14. We spend a lot of time together, a lot of months on Tour, practising… So it’s important to get along, to have a chance to have dinners together,” Berrettini said. “It’s not something you build in a few days. It’s something we’ve built during the years. It’s important because they are my team, so it’s a job, but they are also my friends.”
Berrettini will kick off his season next week at the Australian Open.