Tennis News: Matteo Berrettini drops some truth and Naomi Osaka is realistic

  • Berrettini discusses why he is in Rome
  • How Osaka reportedly feels about her comeback
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Matteo Berrettini is only a bit over two years removed since he reached a career-high of No. 6 on the ATP tour. Since then injuries have seemingly constantly kept him from playing in tournaments or ever reaching peak form. He is now 28 years old and likely closer to the end of his tennis career than the beginning, but still, he plays. In fact, he even was scheduled to play at the Italian Open.

But Berrettini also is not going to lie to himself and believe he is likely in good enough form to truly compete at the event. He did recently win the Marrakech Open because he has the talent to win such an event, but his level of competition at the tournament was not extremely high. Still, a victory is a victory and something Berrettini can use to build confidence.

This is especially true as earlier in 2024, Berrettini had to participate in Challengers events to simply get some match work in. He made the finals at the Phoenix Open before losing to Nuno Borges. In the other two events he has played in this year, Berrettini lost in his opening match.

Matteo Berrettini and Naomi Osaka keep battling to get back in peak form

During a pre-tournament interview at the Italian Open, Berrettini was brutally honest about why he decided to play at the event. He told the media, "I would have wanted to arrive in better [physical] condition. I'm doing everything I can to be ready for my match. I'm here because it's Rome." Fair enough.

(Update: Berrettini decided to withdraw from the Italy Open due to injries.)

Another player trying to work back into peak form is Naomi Osaka. The former WTA No. 1 took all of 2023 off as she was pregnant but prior to that, she struggled with injuries and form. She has played in eight WTA tournaments so far in 2024, though, but she is far from the kind of form that allowed her to win four Grand Slams.

Osaka might never reach that level again, of course, but that is not from lack of trying. She even made the quarterfinals at the Qatar Open which included defeating 15-seed Caroline Garcia. According to Osaka's coach, Wim Fissette, the player expected immediate results but also understood the reality of her situation.

Osaka has been on top of tennis so she knows she can be successful. She also knows that missing so much time can make reaching the top ten again brutally difficult. Tennis is not like riding a proverbial bike.

Fissette told Tennis Sweet Spot, "I feel (Osaka's) disappointment, but I also know she’s quite rational as well, she understands. She’s hoping for success immediately but she’s also realistic that it can take longer...She wants to become the best version of herself, she’s 100 percent investing energy and time, and she’s watching for every detail in her job so I’m very happy with that."

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