Thoughts on Matteo Berrettini?

Zardoz7/12

Professional
For the last year Matteo has been rising up the rankings along with his final opponent in Stuttgart, Felix Auger Aliassime. Matteo is 6ft5, moves well, solid serve, dangerous slice and solid ground strokes, he's 22nd in the World and he's got 3 ATP titles to his name. He's 23, he's not quite as next gen as say Shapovalov or FAA but he's moving up the rankings silently. What do you think of him? Has he got top 10 potential? He's won titles on 3 surfaces this year though his win on a hard court was at the Arizona Challenger beating the crafty Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin. I like his style, a mix of power and subtlety via the slice. There are a few new players rising, there is a change coming from the late 1990s/early 2000s generation it seems. I can't help but feel ancient though, I'm December 1988, I saw hairs appear on different places back in the late 90s lol that's how old I am, when Tamagotchi's and Digimon/Pokemon cards were the in vogue things lol.
 
With a bit of necessary oversimplification, we could say that Italian players have traditionally fallen into two categories: the highly-talented yet underachieving - and often ill-tempered - ones (from Panatta himself all the way to Fognini, passing through Canè, Nargiso, Camporese, Pescosolido, etc.) and the overachievers with less-than-stellar natural abilities (Barazzutti, Furlan, Gaudenzi, Lorenzi). Berrettini is a bit of an anomaly, in that he obviously has ability, but also an excellent mindset and demeanor. There's not much flash or pizazz, but lots of power and lots of substance. He may have the Mediterranean good looks, but he is very different from the Italian stereotype: well-behaved, humble, consistent, hard-working, focused, ambitious. His game is also unusual for Italy: big serve (by far the best we've ever seen around here) and a ripped “American-style” forehand somewhat reminiscent of a Sock or a Roddick.

Personally, I used to think he was a nice little prospect, but with too many weaknesses to make a serious push for the top floors (movement, net play and – most glaringly- backhand). Lately, however, he is showing tremendous improvement in all those areas. He also seems to be acquiring confidence by the minute. And most importantly, he may finally be realizing that he is built for the faster surfaces, even though – like most Italians – he feels most comfortable on clay.

All that's missing, now, is a breakthrough performance at the Grand Slam/Master 1000 level (so far, other than the odd match here and there, all his real success has come in 250s). But the way things are going, I don't think we'll have to wait very long...

At this point, I say the sky is the limit.


PS He has a younger brother who, during their junior days, was always regarded as the more talented sibling. Jacopo is now 20 and ranked around 400, so clearly that doesn't seem to be the case. But considering the late-blooming DNA, we may hear from him yet.
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
He has one of the weirdest imbalanced careers. 3 250 titles within a year and not a single quarter final at any other level, not even 500.

Unless he sorts that out he'll just be another Basilashvili or Stevie Johnson.
 

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
Most surprising tournament winner this year, pre tournament start. After watching his last three matches though, I take back what I said about Nick losing to him :-D
 
Seems to have a great game, and yes good-looking too! I’ll be watching to see if he’s the real thing, or fades away.....I do like him! Also like Garin, FAA, Tsitsipas and a few others. Things seem to be changing!
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
I have never met an Italian that is well-behaved, humble, consistent, hard-working, focused, ambitious. You are absolutely right. Italians immigrants are among the laziest, unfocused with very little ambition. That’s just one example. Have I got that right ??
That poster was talking about male Italian tennis players, not all Italians or Italian Americans or even female Italian tennis players.
 
I have never met an Italian that is well-behaved, humble, consistent, hard-working, focused, ambitious. You are absolutely right. Italians immigrants are among the laziest, unfocused with very little ambition. That’s just one example. Have I got that right ??
Uhh... no, you haven't.

Did I not clearly state I was referring to "the Italian STEREOTYPE"? A stereotype which, unfortunately, has only been strengthened by many of our more talented male players. My point was that we've never really had a guy with that kind of fire power and such impressive mental/intangible qualities. We've had players anointed by the tennis gods (Panatta, Omar, Fognini), but most of them lacked the character or mental fortitude to truly make the most of their abilities. Then we've had players who could barely push the ball across the net (relatively speaking, of course), but who managed to reach the upper echelons of the game through extraordinary will-power, determination, perseverance, etc. Berrettini - hopefully - could be a new breed.

PS Thanks Thrust for doing the dirty work for me...

PPS Perhaps I should mention that I am indeed an Italian - born, raised and resident.
 

Bukmeikara

Legend
He has one of the weirdest imbalanced careers. 3 250 titles within a year and not a single quarter final at any other level, not even 500.

Unless he sorts that out he'll just be another Basilashvili or Stevie Johnson.
Its such an obvious anomaly ..
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
He has a nice game and seems to be figuring things out. Maybe he won't end up the second coming, but I'm of the "wait and see" mindset on him. He certainly is a few steps ahead of FAA at the moment.
 

merwy

Legend
He has one of the weirdest imbalanced careers. 3 250 titles within a year and not a single quarter final at any other level, not even 500.

Unless he sorts that out he'll just be another Basilashvili or Stevie Johnson.
That's obviously just a coincidence. If you can win 250s, you can reach the QF of a 500 as well.
 
Excuse me? My family on my mothers side where immigrants to Britain after the 2nd World War and they worked hard, they were humble and they weren't given a free pass you xenophobic racist rat. I remember my mother telling me that here in Cornwall they told her "go back to where she came from", that's the kind of mindset people like you have because you're hypocrites at the end of the day, racist hypocrites. You wouldn't dare insult anyone who wasn't a European immigrant but you think you can get away with being a racist xenophobe in 2019 lol.
TBH, I'm pretty sure that poster was being sarcastic, and was accusing ME of prejudice. To which, of course, I've already replied.
 

Purplemonster

Hall of Fame
Excuse me? My family on my mothers side where immigrants to Britain after the 2nd World War and they worked hard, they were humble and they weren't given a free pass you xenophobic racist rat. I remember my mother telling me that here in Cornwall they told her "go back to where she came from", that's the kind of mindset people like you have because you're hypocrites at the end of the day, racist hypocrites. You wouldn't dare insult anyone who wasn't a European immigrant but you think you can get away with being a racist xenophobe in 2019 lol.
Excuse me? My family on my mothers side where immigrants to Britain after the 2nd World War and they worked hard, they were humble and they weren't given a free pass you xenophobic racist rat. I remember my mother telling me that here in Cornwall they told her "go back to where she came from", that's the kind of mindset people like you have because you're hypocrites at the end of the day, racist hypocrites. You wouldn't dare insult anyone who wasn't a European immigrant but you think you can get away with being a racist xenophobe in 2019 lol.
Sarcasm my friend.
 

Ann

Hall of Fame
He's won 3 tournaments in the space of a year and is 22nd in the World from nowhere. I guess I should just post about the Big 3 all the time right?
I guess you should calm down if "he won one tournament" has you apoplectic.
 
He has one of the weirdest imbalanced careers. 3 250 titles within a year and not a single quarter final at any other level, not even 500.

Unless he sorts that out he'll just be another Basilashvili or Stevie Johnson.
Hmm.. well, that's been taken care of. Took a full 4 days.

As for making the top 10, I'm not one to make bold predictions (though at this point, it wouldn't really be that bold, would it?). But we know that Khachanov cracked the top 10, and he sure can't seem to crack Berrettini.

Vai Berretto, facci sognare!
 

73west

Semi-Pro
This is a very impressive run. 20-3 over the last 23, I believe, and he’s beating some good players. And he’s had strong results on clay and hard court and now grass.

I definitely am keeping my eyes open.
 

Tommy Haas

Hall of Fame
Monfils seems to play with no strategy. Maybe he does, but it's not anything obvious. He just rallies cross court until someone makes an error or he sees an opening and goes for the winner. Maybe it's as simple as just trying to outlasting his opponent.
 
Good player, solid career ahead of him. Don't see him as a consistent top 10 player or Slam threat though.
He has one of the weirdest imbalanced careers. 3 250 titles within a year and not a single quarter final at any other level, not even 500.

Unless he sorts that out he'll just be another Basilashvili or Stevie Johnson.
I don't think he has the weapons to be a top 10 guy.
And I don't see him breaking the top 10 tbh. But I'm always happy to see young guys do well.
Uhhh... woops! ;)
 

guitarra

Professional
Berrettini. For me a consistent TOP15 player with very good both 1st and 2nd serve and great FH too which is both quick and spinning. He will always be dangerous on quick surfaces. On clay he'll struggle. Has a good slice BH but that's a limitation, especially on higher bouncing surfaces. His biggest liability is and will remain his movement.
 

James P

Hall of Fame
You know, I'd expect him to play better on hard than on clay, but so far in his career, he has 3 250 and 3 challenger tournament wins. Broken down, he has 3 clay wins (2 250s, 1 challenger), 2 hard wins (both challengers), and 1 grass win (250 level).
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
He's right up there with the best of young guns. I'm happy that we finally have young guys who can legitimately beat the Big 3. Next year will be a big year for the young guys - Medvedev(the best of them right now but this can change), Zverev, Tsitsipas, Berrettini, Rublev, Khachanov(not quite there yet but has potential), FAA, etc. They look much better than their previous generations. I'm sure Berrettini will fight for no.1 in the next 5 years.
 
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