Italian tennis star Matteo Berrettini revealed that Roger Federer was always a source of inspiration for him and underlined that the Swiss left a major mark in tennis history. Berrettini, 26, grew up watching and idolizing Federer.
But even when Berrettini turned pro, he was still amazed by Federer and his greatness. Berrettini, who is now considered among the best players in the game, admits he will never be Federer but vowed to follow in the footsteps of his idol and try to be a good role model for the kids.
“Roger has been my idol since I started playing tennis. When I tried to become a professional tennis player and was on tour, I was following him and tried to learn from him but not to be like him because that’s impossible.
I can only try to be as good as him. Roger has brought so much to the sport, he doesn’t need to prove anything anymore,” Berrettini told HELLO.
Berrettini witnessed Federer’s retirement
Federer, a former 20-time Grand Slam champion, retired from professional in late September at the Laver Cup.
Berrettini, who was in London, got a chance to witness Federer’s emotional farewell. The night after Federer played the final match of his career, Berrettini was very emotional and had a sleepless night. “I couldn’t sleep, I was really emotional.
I told him why we were crying. The reason why I chose to become a tennis player was because of him. He probably doesn’t know but when I was a kid and he was playing in Rome, I was trying to sneak into centre court because I didn’t have a ticket.
He was my idol. He inspired me so much. Not just me but billions of people. He did everything for the sport and for me in general. I’m so happy to be here. I have to thank him, but I’ve got chills guys. It’s tough for me,” Berrettini said of Federer’s retirement.