Matteo Berrettini believes he can secure a first “life-changing” Wimbledon title this year after going so close last year.
It’s some record, and it’s perhaps unsurprising – alongside a favourable-looking draw – that Berrettini feels bullish coming into the 2022 edition, which sees him begin his campaign against Chile’s Cristian Garin on Tuesday.
“But it just feels really nice. To win it, I don’t even know.
“It sounds crazy but at the same time I know I can do it. It would mean a lot and it would mean for sure the highest moment of my career and my life.
“Considering that last year I lost in the final and my life completely changed, it would be even more.
“But it’s nice to think that I’m still the same kid that was dreaming about playing tennis, dreaming about playing this tournament, not even winning it.
“It would be a life change for sure and especially after what I experienced in the last months, it would be a lot.”
The final of last year’s Wimbledon fell on the same day as Italy faced England in the final of Euro 2020, and that crossover effect – which saw Berrettini join up with the victorious Azzurri players on the Wembley pitch – clearly lit Italy’s interest in their new star.
Djokovic & Berrettini
Image credit: Getty Images
Berrettini said: “Even people that didn’t know about tennis, if you tell them ‘Wimbledon’, they’re going to know what it is.
“It’s so special. That’s why it was so big last year, because people stopped me in the streets and told me: ‘The last time I watched a tennis match was 20 or 30 years ago. And you made me watch the finals.’
“It’s unbelievable that it was me that was playing. And then it makes me feel really proud because I was on probably the biggest stage on a tennis court. I was one of the main characters.
“That’s why it was so big. And in Italy it was even bigger.”
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