Matteo Berrettini adds Nadal’s former coach to his team in 2024

Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports /

Former World No. 6, Italian Matteo Berrettini hired a new coach for 2024.  Berrettini, 27, is adding Rafael Nadal’s alternate coach, Spaniard Francisco Roig.  Roig was part of Nadal’s team from 2005 to 2022; he worked in collaboration with Carlos Moya and Toni Nadal.  For part of 2023, he worked with American Sloane Stephens. Roig, 55, is a former player best known for winning nine ATP doubles titles.

Berrettini, a 2021 Wimbledon finalist, turned pro in 2015 and has been bombarded with injuries, lost form, and confidence issues.  In 2023, he dealt with disappointing results as well as abdominal and ankle injuries. He has reached the quarterfinals or better in each of the Grand Slams.  Berretti split with his longtime coach Vincenzo Santopadre in October.  Santopadre was with Berrettini from 2011 to 2023 for his ascent to the Top 10 and seven ATP title wins.

Since October, Berrettini has been going through the process of selecting a coach.  He reportedly was working with former ATP pro Thomas Enqvist, but a long-term coaching relationship did not materialize.

Matteo Berrettini’s 2024 expectations

First and foremost, Berrettini needs to stay healthy.  He has been unable to get into a rhythm of steady match play because of injuries that require frequent starts and stops of training and match play.  He is in a similar situation as Dominic Thiem in that he is aging out of a game that is turning increasingly younger with the likes of Carlos Alcaraz, fellow Italian Jannik Sinner, and Holger Rune.

Thiem won a Grand Slam, but this generation of players in their late 20s could be lost in the shuffle because of Novak Djokovic’s ageless dominance of the game and the perceived next Big 3 of the upcoming generation.  Berrettini has been labeled one of the best players to never win a Grand Slam.

Berrettini starts his 2024 season in Brisbane on December 31.  Because his injuries were multiple and required intermittent absences from the tour, he will not qualify for an ATP protected ranking.  This means he may not be at the 2024 Australian Open unless he gets a wildcard (he was a semifinalist in 2022) or he goes through the qualifying rounds.

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