Matteo Berrettini called himself a Roger Federer fan and admitted he was just too happy to be sharing the court with his idol when they first met at 2019 Wimbledon. In the summer of 2019, Berrettini – now 26 years old – faced Federer for the first time in his career at The Championships, where the Swiss is a record eight-time champion.
It didn’t go well for Berrettini on the court as Federer claimed a dominant 6-1 6-2 6-2 win. Later that year, Berrettini and Federer met again at the ATP Finals – even though the Italian played much better this time – the Swiss still escaped with a 7-6 (2) 6-3 win.
At the Laver Cup in late September, Berrettini witnessed Federer’s farewell. “I am a fan of Federer. I was there when he retired, it was crazy. Everyone cried. I faced him twice: the first time I didn’t understand s—. I asked myself ‘what am I doing here?’, I was supporting him.
The second time I fought harder, but I lost,” Berrettini said, per Relevant Tennis.
Berrettini about Roger ð
ð£ï¸”I am a fan of Federer. I was there when he retired, it was crazy.
Everyone cried. I faced him twice: the first time I didn’t understand sh**. I asked myself ‘what am I doing here?’, I was supporting him. The second time I fought harder, but I lost”. pic.twitter.com/51OKEH0g1d — Relevant Tennis (@RelevantTennis) February 20, 2023
Berrettini on idolizing Federer
As a kid, Berrettini looked up to Federer in many ways.
After Federer’s career came to an end, Berrettini recalled how Federer influenced his tennis career. “I couldn’t sleep, I was really emotional. I told him why we were crying. The reason why I chose to become a tennis player was because of him.
He probably doesn’t know but when I was a kid and he was playing in Rome, I was trying to sneak into centre court because I didn’t have a ticket. He was my idol. He inspired me so much. Not just me but billions of people. He did everything for the sport and for me in general.
I’m so happy to be here. I have to thank him, but I’ve got chills guys. It’s tough for me,” Berrettini said at the Laver Cup after Federer’s career came to an end.