Berrettini Eyes Major Breakthrough at Flushing Meadows
There’s that old cliché in sport that there are ‘horses for courses’, but the versatility of Matteo Berrettini is such that this thoroughbred can get the job done anywhere, any time.
The Italian is a former Wimbledon finalist who has twice won tournaments on grass in 2022, has reached the semi-finals of both the Australian and US Open on hard courts, and played in two clay court finals during the 2021 campaign.
So Berrettini has class no matter what the conditions throw at him, and it’s still something of a surprise that he is so disregarded by the sportsbooks as a potential major champion – in the US Open tennis odds, for example, punters can still avail themselves of +4000 on the 26-year-old to lift the trophy.
Perhaps the hard courts of Flushing Meadows are the ideal location for Berrettini to clinch that maiden major crown. This is a venue where a strong serve really does count for plenty, and according to the ATP Tour stats, only four players have won more service games than the Italian in the past year – and he is a better all-round talent than any of them.
The ATP has also published its own Under Pressure ranking, which acts as a guide for how players perform when defending or attacking break points as well as their results in tie breaks and deciding sets. For that metric, only Rafa Nadal is considered a classier operator than Berrettini.
It seems as if the Italian is destined to win a Grand Slam event in the near future, and those odds of +4000 on him to do so at the US Open look more than fair.
One of the concerns about any professional athlete who goes under the surgeon’s knife is how long it will take them to get back to their best… if at all.
In tennis, it goes without saying that hand surgery can have major complications for a player, but the good news for Berrettini’s fanbase is that he seems to have suffered few ill effects from the operation he had on his digits back in the spring.
It was rather telling that the Italian was happy to forego the clay court season to ensure he was back to full fitness in time for the grass and summer hard court campaigns – a clear indicator of where he believes his best chances of silverware lie.
Berrettini made his return to the circuit after more than three months away at the ATP Stuttgart event in Germany, beating the likes of Radu Albot, Oscar Otte, and former world number one Andy Murray on his way to lifting the trophy – a pretty emphatic return from an injury lay-off!
A week later, Berrettini headed to the UK for the Queen’s Club Championship – a grass court event considered to be an ideal warm-up for Wimbledon. And once again the Italian prevailed, defeating local favorite Dan Evans on his way to a 7-5 6-4 victory over Filip Krajinovic in the final.
What better way could Berrettini have warmed up for a run at two of his most likely chances at Grand Slam glory in the weeks to come…