Matteo Berrettini is making his debut at the ATP Finals this year.
Matteo Berrettini has opened up on the contrasting styles of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as he gets set to make his first appearance at the ATP Finals on Sunday.
Berrettini has enjoyed a breakthrough year on the ATP Tour, reaching a career-high of eighth in the world, winning 42 matches and claiming titles at the Hungarian Open and Mercedes Cup.
And it has earned the Italian a place at the ATP Finals, becoming the first singles player from Italy to play since 1978.
The draw for the tournament has put Berrettini in a group including Federer, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem.
In the other group, Nadal has been placed with Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev.
Of the ‘Big Three’, Berrettini played Federer at Wimbledon and was comprehensively beaten and Nadal at the US Open when he reached the semi-finals.
It means the 23-year-old is in a good position to compare the duo and world No 8 is full of admiration for both players.
He said: “Federer uses so many variations, that as you play with it, you want to stop and watch it to understand, and understand its secrets.
“He always plays a different game and they are all difficult to guess. The conclusion is obvious, it does not allow you to understand how to hurt him.
“Nadal, on the other hand, makes you feel a lot about his presence in the field, his imperious gestures, his looks, his competitive spirit.
“It is not anxiety, but tension for an important match. And he takes you to a thousand.”
Given the strength of his group, Berrettini faces a tough battle to reach the knockout stages at the O2 Arena but he says he’s not fazed by the competition.
“I want to take good advantage of these days and I have to prepare myself and arrive in the best possible way,” Berrettini said.
“I know that I am not a favourite, but I am very motivated to do well and give it all.
“For months I could not even dream of qualifying so I did not give up anything now.”