‘Grazie!’ – Matteo Berrettini gives strange thanks after tough Australian Open victory
Matteo Berrettini was grateful for his stomach medication after coming from behind to oust young American Brandon Nakashima and get his 2022 Australian Open campaign up and running.
The 2021 Wimbledon finalist faced the world number 68 in a match that saw him go a set down before eventually clinching victory in four sets.
Berrettini looked spent after the win, moving slowly to his chair and to the microphone for his post-match interview.
“I don’t know if I can say this on TV,” the Italian began on his physical state.
“I’ve been feeling sick with my stomach, let’s say that. It was really hard to play, especially the third and fourth set.
“I try my best and tell myself to fight, to do my best and in the end I won. I’m really happy.”
In fact, Berrettini’s medication was not his only help in getting through to the next round.
He admitted that had he not been playing in front of fans, the contest may have ended far sooner.
“Without them [my comeback] probably wouldn’t have happened,” he explained.
“[If we were] playing in a bubble or something like that I probably would have retired.
“So, they helped me a lot, my team helped me a lot. Thank you a lot guys, hopefully in the next match I’m going to feel better and I hope to see you there.”
Berrettini then wrote “Imodium! Grazie!” (“Imodium! Thank you!”) as his camera lens message before leaving the court.
Hoy, en el primer momento random del #AusOpen, Berrettini tuvo ‘problemas estomacales’ durante su partido y victoria ante Nakashima y así firmó la cámara: ¡Imodium! Grazie. Sí, un partido de tenis dedicado a un antidiarreico, buen día. pic.twitter.com/dCjvRj4yey
— Marcos Zugasti (@marcos_z) January 17, 2022
Following the deportation of Novak Djokovic and his subsequent absence from the Australian Open, Berrettini is now the highest seed in the top half of the men’s draw at seventh.
In 2021, he only lost to Djokovic at Slams. He withdrew from the Australian Open in the fourth round, then lost to the world number one in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros, the final of Wimbledon and the quarter-finals of the US Open.
Now that Djokovic is guaranteed not to cross paths with Berrettini in Melbourne, the Italian has an opportunity to really take control of the top half of the draw.
He faces American wildcard Stefan Kozlov next before likely taking on Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz in the third round.
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