Tennis-Becker comparison a privilege for Berrettini

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Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 30, 2021 Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in action during his first round match against Argentina’s Guido Pella REUTERS/Paul Childs

June 30, 2021

By Sudipto Ganguly

(Reuters) – Italian Matteo Berrettini has been compared with Boris Becker since emulating the German by winning at Queen’s Club on debut this month but the lofty connection with the three-times Wimbledon champion does not add to the pressure he feels.

Becker went on to add the Wimbledon title 26 years back after his triumph at Queen’s to bag the first of his six Grand Slam crowns.

The 25-year-old Berrettini is seeded seventh at the grasscourt major.

“I mean, pressure and these kind of things I think it’s a privilege in a way,” the Italian told reporters after his opening round win over Guido Pella of Argentina.

“If someone told me a few years ago, ‘Look, they’re going to compare your name to Becker’, I would be, I don’t know, I would feel great. It feels great.

“I know now I step in the court and people around me in general, they expect me to win. I expect myself to win. Two years ago, three years ago when I got here, I know it wasn’t like that. Everything changed.”

Berrettini also had a chance to talk to Becker last week at the All England Club although he was not sure the German would recognise him.

“I think the best part was that I met him as soon as I got here. He was walking by. He stopped. I was surprised because he knew who I was. He made me feel good,” Berrettini said.

“He told me like, ‘Well done. Now we have something in common’. I was like, Okay. So he knew.

“I was like, Yeah, I wish I have everything in common, like

all the titles and stuff. I’ll try to get there.

“He also told me I had to keep my mind clear to have a long run here. I’ll try to do that.”

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ed Osmond)





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