Italian tennis star Matteo Berrettini joked he has to say he has a soft spot for Australia so his girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic wouldn’t get upset.
Berrettini is set to open his 2022 season at the ATP Cup as Italy takes on Australia in their opening match at the event.
“I have to say I have a soft spot for Australia, otherwise Ajla is going to be upset,” Berrettini said, per Sportskeeda.
Berrettini plays Alex de Minaur in his first match and he doesn’t expect to have an easy job.
“Alex is a really tricky player, especially here in Sydney, in his home country,” Berrettini said. “He’s been playing his best tennis here. I think this atmosphere brings him to play his best tennis, so it’s going to be very tough match.
“But I like it when the atmosphere is like that. I like [when] stadiums packed and people are cheering for you or against you. I’m really looking forward to that match.”
Berrettini aims to lead Italy to the title
Italy has a strong team, led by two top-10 players — Berrettini and Jannik Sinner.
“We feel happy to be here,” Berrettini said.. “I think it’s possible [to win the title], the team is even stronger this year, so for sure our aim is to win the title. We know it’s going to be a tough job. Every match is going to be difficult, but we believe that we can do it.”
Italy was drawn in the same group as Russia so Berrettini will get a chance to face world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev.
“He is really solid,” Berrettini said of Medvedev. “He’s moving really well, playing deep, serving well, returning. I mean, he’s not missing at all when he’s playing well. So especially on hard court he’s probably together with Novak, the best player we have now. He’s really tricky to play.”