Berretini says he would ‘sign with blood’ to play at Wimbledon

Matteo Berretini of Italy during a practice game at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 2, 2023 in London, Britain.  - Reuters
Matteo Berretini of Italy during a practice game at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 2, 2023 in London, Britain. – Reuters

Italian tennis player Matteo Berrettini, who missed a part of the 2022 season due to his injuries, has revealed that he “would have signed with blood” to play at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon is a tennis tournament currently running from 26 June to 16 July.

While a barnstorming run through a draw has taken the charismatic Italian into a fourth-round blockbuster on Monday against the world number one, he now has his eyes on Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon.

The 27-year-old said: “It’s what you want, right? You want to play against the best players in the world. Playing against Carlos has always been a pleasure, a great fight.”

The Italian veteran was runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2021 but missed the tournament last year due to COVID-19.

An abdominal injury, which restricted him to one match between April and June, pushed him to the brink of another comeback.

“When I arrived I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to play or not,” he said.

“I felt I wasn’t ready. But then I missed a lot of events over the years and I couldn’t leave this place without trying.

“There’s something special about this place. I feel a kind of energy that I don’t feel anywhere else.”

Prior to the latest physical issue, Berretini missed a portion of the 2022 season with a hand injury.

He was forced to withdraw from the Monte Carlo Masters after two rounds due to an abdominal injury and was out of the French Open for the second time in a row.

His return for the grass-court season saw him suffer a first-round loss against compatriot Lorenzo Sonego in Stuttgart, when he could only play three games.

‘me against him’

However, at Wimbledon, the world No. 38 has been reborn.

Coming from a set down, he defeated Sonego and then 15th seed Alex de Minaur of Australia, playing over four days played in torrential rain throughout London.

On Saturday, he topped a big-hitting duel against 19th seed Alexander Zverev.

Berretini said, “I spent several days in my bed crying about not being able to play five days in a row.”

“So if they had told me a few weeks ago that you were going to play five days in a row at Wimbledon, I would have signed with my blood.”

So far at Wimbledon, Berretini has served 45 aces and saved all six break points for a total of 54 unbroken service games.

Hubert Hurkacz, who faces Novak Djokovic in the fourth round, is the only other man to drop serve in the tournament.

On Monday, Berretini will face Alcaraz, who has yet to hit top gear at Wimbledon, needing four sets to overcome Chile’s Nicolas Jarry in the third round.

Alcaraz leads 2–1 with the Italian, but all three matches have gone away.

Berrettini defeated the Spaniard in five sets at the 2022 Australian Open.

Berretini said, “We always give our best. He’s No. 1 right now, so he’s the best player in the world. It’s going to be a big challenge.”

“I remember watching Carlos play at Roland Garros on my TV. Now I will be up against him.”

Zverev voiced his support for Berrettini as a potential Wimbledon champion this year.

“I told him that if he plays like this he can win the tournament,” the German said.


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