Matteo Berrettini recently was asked who between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic was tougher to play against. The Italian has lost both matches he has played against Nadal, going down in straight sets in the semifinals of the 2019 US Open and at the same stage at the 2022 Australian Open (four sets).
Against Djokovic, Berrettini has ended up on the losing side in all four of their encounters – at the 2019 ATP Finals, the 2021 French Open, the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, and the 2021 US Open. Currently at the Davis Cup Finals to cheer the Italian team on, the 27-year-old took part in a press conference where he was asked about Nadal and Djokovic.
Matteo Berrettini replied that it was difficult to pick who the toughest was, as they were both very different players. He added, however, that he felt closest to beating Djokovic at the French Open. Unfortunately for the World No. 90, there was a rain delay just as he was starting to find some momentum in the contest in Paris. Djokovic made good use of the break to down Berrettini in four sets.
“Honestly, I don’t know. I think they’re different players, so it’s really tough to say, you know, what’s toughest. I have to say that in Paris was the one match that I felt, like, was the closest one that I played. I lost all of them against them, but in Paris I felt like the momentum was shifting a little bit,” Matteo Berrettini said.
“And then, I don’t know if you remember, but they stopped the match and we were like 25 minutes in the locker room. You know, I kind of lost a little bit the rhythm, and obviously he was playing really good. But overall, that was the match that I felt, like, closer to Novak. So I think — I don’t know. You pick (smiling). It’s really tough,” he added.
Matteo Berrettini was last seen in action at the 2023 US Open, where he had to withdraw from the second round with an injury. The Italian is hoping to be back in time for the Australian Open next year. He is confident that he has enough time on his hands to make a full recovery before then.
“Hopefully, I’m going to start in Australia. That’s the goal, to play as many matches as possible next year (smiling). I’m working hard right now to get ready. I love to play in Australia. I had great memories there, and it’s a swing that I always really like to go there and play there. Yeah, that’s the goal, and I think it’s doable. So I’m working hard for that,” Matteo Berrettini said.