Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini - Laver Cup 2022

Novak Djokovic labelled an ‘alien’ by Matteo Berrettini

Novak Djokovic has been compared to an alien by Matteo Berrettini, who he beat in the Wimbledon final in 2021. 

Djokovic has beaten Berrettini in all of their previous meetings, and while the Italian refused to declare any of ‘the big three’ as the GOAT, he did give the Serb a unique analogy.

“It’s impressive to see Djokovic’s motivation after everything he’s done and the way he manages his body,” said Berrettini. “He’s quite alien, like [Rafael] Nadal and [Roger] Federer, but he’s the one who perhaps it’s further away from who I am and that’s why I see it this way.”

While Berrettini has not fared so well on the opposite side of the court from Djokovic, he has found success with the No.1 when playing doubles together.

The pair teamed up as part of Team Europe at last year’s Laver Cup, and beat Alex De Minaur and Jack Sock, 7-5 6-2.

The ATP No.24 also had an analogy for Rafael Nadal, who he compared to an animal, “Pure energy, a bull. When he enters a room you feel the energy he has,”

Berrettini continued, “And when he talks about something he did, whether he went fishing or playing golf, he seems to be recounting the Punic wars. He’s at six thousand, pure energy.”

To complete the praise of the ‘big three’, Berrettini described Roger Federer, “A person who always has the right word and always the right mood for any atmosphere and situation. Elegant would be obvious. Basically he has a very deep self-knowledge and a great sensitivity. So I would say sensitive.”

Matteo Berrettini’s record vs ‘The big three’

Despite being a Wimbledon finalist, and a former No.6, Berrettini has never beaten Djokovic, Nadal or Federer.

Berrettini vs Novak Djokovic: 0-4

Last meeting (2021) – Djokovic beat Berrettini, 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-3 (US Open Quarter-final)

Berrettini vs Rafael Nadal: 0-2

Last meeting (2022) – Nadal beat Berrettini, 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 (Australian Open Semi-final)

Berrettini vs Roger Federer: 0-2

Last meeting (2019) – Federer beat Berrettini, 7-6(2) 6-3 (ATP Finals Round-Robin)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.