Matteo Berrettini reveals ‘special’ Jannik Sinner’s secret to success ahead of their Wimbledon showdown

Shahida Jacobs
Matteo Berrettini on 'special' Jannik Sinner
Matteo Berrettini has revealed Jannik Sinner's 'secret' to to success

Matteo Berrettini believes Jannik Sinner has two “secrets” to his incredible rise over the past year, adding that the world No 1 is inspiring him to up his own game.

Sinner is in the form of his life as he has already won four titles this year, including his maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open, and surged to the top of the ATP Rankings after the French Open.

The 22-year-old took his 2024 win-loss record to 39-3 with his first-round victory over Yannick Hanfmann at Wimbledon and up next is fellow Italian Berrettini, who booked his place in round two with a win over Marton Fucsovics.

Berrettini was asked about his compatriot’s development and admitted that he saw the potential when Sinner was just 14 years old.

“The first time that I played with him was in Monte Carlo in 2019. I felt something special. I’m not really good at saying, Oh, this kid 14 is going to be No 1 in the world. I don’t have this kind of sight like this,” he explained.

“But I felt, okay, this kid is going to be really, really good. It was impressive. Also, the way he was learning so fast and his attitude. It was just learning process all the time. And he is still doing that. I think that’s why he went up so quickly in a way.

“We always forget how young he is. Just at the end of last year I was injured, and I wasn’t on tour to see him live with my eyes. And then I had the chance to go in Davis Cup, and it was unbelievable.

“It was like we were looking at each other saying, Is this guy real? Because he wasn’t missing. Hitting every ball full power. It was just the confidence that he built throughout the year was unbelievable. Just kept improving all the things that he is working on with his coaches.”

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Berrettini feels Sinner’s desire to constantly improve and his humbleness have been key to his success.

The former world No 6 added: “I think his secret is that he is really hungry for improvement. That’s his secret. And the humbleness that he has about it. Yeah, just special.

“Personally, it gives me so much energy to just try, like, to be there and to play against him and to be at his level. For me, it’s really useful.”

Sinner, meanwhile, is expecting a tough match against Berrettini as the 28-year-old has an excellent grass-court pedigree with four of his eight titles coming on the surface. He also finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the 2021 Wimbledon final.

“This is the surface of him, he knows how to play very well here,” he said. “Here he played in a final and I know it will be tough. Today I saw a bit of his game, I saw him well.”

He added: “We know each other quite well, but ultimately not that much. We played in Toronto but he seems to feel much better on grass.

“He immediately started winning on this surface and won a lot. I expect a difficult match but I want to take it as a good challenge to see where my level is, and in particular where I am on this surface.”