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Berrettini Targets Australian Open Return

“That’s the goal, and I think it’s doable,” Matteo Berrettini said of playing the 2024 AO. 

By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Wednesday, November 22, 2023

A litany of injury left Matteo Berrettini feeling unmotivated and “sad.”  

These days, Berrettini is feeling more positive about his future and aims to launch his comeback at the Happy Slam.

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The 27-year-old Berrettini pulled the plug on his 2023 season last month after batttling abdominal, leg and ankle injuries. Meeting the media in Malaga, Spain where he’s a non-playing supporter for team Italy, Berrettini said he’s making progress in rehab and hopes to play the 2024 Australian Open, which starts on January 14, 2024.

“Hopefully I’m going to start in Australia. That’s the goal, to play as many matches as possible next year,” Berrettini said. “I’m working hard right now to get ready. I love to play in Australia. I had great memories there, and it’s a swing that I always really like to go there and play there. Yeah, that’s the goal, and I think it’s doable. So I’m working hard for that.”

An ankle issue forced Berrettini to retire from the second set of his US Open second round meeting vs. Arthur Rinderknech. Berrettini has not played since and was limited to 23 matches, posting 12-11 record this season.

Chronic injury drained Berrettini’s desire fora while leaving him “sad.” The now 90th-ranked Italian said disconnecting from the sport for a bit has helped revive his competitive spirit and desire to comeback.

“I wasn’t enjoying the process of coming back, that it was, like, kind of like the key before,” Berrettini said. “Unfortunately, I had many injuries, but I always found, like, kind of, not the joy, but, you know, the challenge of coming back and feeling kind of like, okay, now I put the work in.

“And I wasn’t feeling that. When I was feeling something on my body, I was really struggling. I went down. Mentally I wasn’t ready to face the challenge.

“Then many things happen, and I think it was just really important for me to stop and, you know, like, think a little bit and take my time. Because the body and the mind, they go together.” Photo credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty

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