Tomljanovic On Berrettini: His Game Is Great, His Mental Side Is Even Better
Matteo Berrettini and his girlfriend, WTA standout Ajla Tomljanovic, both advanced to the second round at Wimbledon on Wednesday. After her victory, Tomljanovic said that from watching the Italian up close, she believes there is far more to his game than a booming serve and hammer-like forehand.
“I actually think what’s most impressive about him is his mental side. Obviously his serve, his forehand, his game is great. But I think the way he approaches the game mentally, how he deals with adversity on court during matches [is most impressive],” Tomljanovic said. “Obviously I’m more on the inside so I know that it’s not always coming naturally to him to be that positive. He works for a lot of things that come his way and I think that’s really impressive, because I can relate to feeling similarly on the court.
“Sometimes it gets the better of me and obviously him too, but for the most part he tries really hard to get through it and use it to his advantage. I think it’s impressive and I think he’s working on it daily, so I try to draw on that sometimes.”
The WTA’s World No. 75 pointed to Berrettini’s maturity and how quickly he has grown as a player. Just three years ago, the Italian competed at Wimbledon for the first time. In October 2019, he cracked the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings and he has not left the elite group since.
“I remember two years ago here [at Wimbledon when he made the fourth round], it’s a huge difference. Okay, two years is a long time, but still some players don’t do it so rapidly,” Tomljanovic said. “He’s had that success not out of nowhere, but he became Top 10 in a very short period of time and sometimes the mind doesn’t follow as quickly as your game, but he has. I think it’s great.”
Tomljanovic does not believe that there is a secret to how Berrettini has handled the mental side of the game so well. But she thinks his willingness to learn is at the fore.
“I think he just learns from every defeat, every tough moment he has in his career. You can see that the next time he’s grown from it and he learns and he really uses that time to recognise, ‘Okay, what was wrong? What do I need to do better?’” Tomljanovic said. “That just proves that with his ranking and his game, he’s just improving and the best part is that he’s eager to learn.”
Berrettini will play Botic Van de Zandschulp on Wednesday for a spot in the third round, and Tomljanovic will face Alize Cornet.