Thanks for visiting the Australian Open Website. We can see you’re using Internet Explorer, and wanted to let you know that we will no longer be supporting this browser in future. We’d recommend you download a new browser if you'd like to continue keeping up with all of the latest tennis news!

Berrettini recapturing magic at Wimbledon

  • Matt Trollope

Matteo Berrettini has suffered through years of shockingly cruel luck when it comes to his physical health.

After an emotional third-round victory over Alexander Zverev on Saturday at Wimbledon, he admitted this had worn him down.

"I spent many days in my bed crying about not being able to play,” said the former world No.6.

“It’s sad but it’s true. I missed playing, I missed competing. People that are close to me, they know about it.

“It’s so special. I found extra energy, I’m finding it every day. I’m so glad that I’m here.”

It’s staggering that he is here, at this point, now lining up in the fourth round of The Championships against world No.1 Carlos Alcaraz.

Only a few weeks ago, there was no sign this would be the case.

There were more tears as he exited in Stuttgart, following a dispiriting 6-1 6-2 first-round loss to fellow Italian Lorenzo Sonego. It was his first match in two months, after a recurring abdominal strain had wiped out his clay-court season. 

That problem first reared its head at Australian Open 2021, where Berrettini powered into the fourth round – only to have to withdraw ahead of his highly-anticipated match against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

More disappointment followed in 2022, when hand surgery forced him to miss the entire clay-court swing, including Roland Garros.

Even when there were no injuries, bad luck seemed to strike anyway.

Having finally recovered from that hand surgery, he built a nine-match grass-court winning streak with titles in Stuttgart and Queen’s.

But on the eve of Wimbledon, a positive COVID test ended his tournament before it began.

“What happened last year is something that I think didn't heal yet. It's a really sharp pain, if I think about it,” he revealed.

“I probably was in the best shape in my career, especially feeling great on grass. Not being able to play was something that, even when I was better physically, was really tough mentally to overcome.”

Having not won a match in almost three months, Berrettini was genuinely unsure whether or not he would play Wimbledon this year.

Matteo Berrettini on Wimbledon: "I think this place has something special. It must be this place. I feel kind of energy I don't feel anywhere else." [Getty Images]

“Not because I didn't want to. In order to play a Slam, you have to be ready physically, emotionally, mentally. There are many things. The will is not enough,” he explained.

“(A) few days before, I thought, like, ‘I'm not ready’. But then I missed too many events in the last years. I couldn't leave this place without trying. That's what I said to myself.

EXPERT PICKS: Who will be the Wimbledon champions in 2023?

“I really spent, like, days in bed thinking about the tournaments that I missed, the injuries that I had, sadness that I was feeling. 

“I was like, I have to come back and feel alive when I play.”

The tennis gods were again unkind, handing him a rematch with Sonego. But this time, unseeded and ranked 38th, Berrettini avenged his Stuttgart defeat in four sets. 

Then he attained an entirely different level.

"A total game-changer"

Berrettini completely outplayed in-form 15th seed Alex de Minaur, pounding 38 winners to the Australian’s 16 to charge into the third round.

There, he beat 19th seed Zverev, sealing another straight-set victory with a powerful ace – his 36th winner of the match – to return to the second week.

He is yet to drop serve this week.

"Oh, it's a total game-changer if Berrettini is back,” Matt Roberts, presenter on The Tennis Podcast, said after his win over De Minaur. “Because that guy knows how to play on a grass court.

"His draw is a nightmare, if he's going to make real progress in this tournament... It feels like a very long way off for him to actually string together so many big wins after not playing for so long. 

“But in each isolated match, he suddenly feels like a threat again, and I didn't think he was a threat at this tournament at all, because of just how bad he was in Stuttgart a few weeks ago.”

READ MORE: Battle for world No.1 to continue at Wimbledon

Alcaraz, the reigning Queen’s champion who is 8-0 this year on grass, was the player heavily favoured to advance to the final from the top half of the draw.

But suddenly he confronts one of the most dangerous opponents of all. 

After Novak Djokovic, Berrettini is the most credentialled player on grass left in the field, having won 35 of his past 39 grass-court matches.




Best results



4R Wimbledon



W Stuttgart, Queen’s



W Queen’s; F Wimbledon


No grass tournaments due to COVID-19



W Stuttgart; SF Halle; 4R Wimbledon


This record includes the two Queen’s Club championships prior to Alcaraz’ 2023 title run. He was also a Wimbledon finalist in 2021 and has progressed to the second week in his past three visits to the All England Club.

Berrettini won his only previous Grand Slam match against Alcaraz, a thrilling third-round clash on Rod Laver Arena at Australian Open 2022. 

It remains the only five-set match Alcaraz has ever lost.

“In a way it's what you want, right? You want to play against the best players in the world,” Berrettini said. 

“Playing against Carlos, it's always been like a pleasure, a great fight. I remember playing in Australia against him five sets. Three sets both times Vienna and Rio. We always give our best. 

“It's going to be a great challenge. But I'm so glad that I have this kind of, like, opportunity right now.

“I remember watching him play Roland Garros from my TV. Now it's going to be me against him. I'm really happy for that.”