Matteo and Jannik: better days will come

Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner in the photo

It’s been two months now since those Australian Open where we have been able to cheer so much. The semi-final of Matteo Berrettini and the quarterfinals reached by Jannik Sinner gave us the feeling (and perhaps a bit of the illusion) of having started in a great way again this year after the fantastic 2021 whose memories are still able to warm the heart of each of us.
Then a lot of things happened, weeks went by, tournaments took place and now, at the end of our “Double Sunshine”, we can say it: something is going wrong.

And how can you not connect this negative phase in terms of performance and results also and perhaps above all to the great misfortune that has hit our two strongest players in recent times. It is sufficient to list the events that occurred to be able to state this: Sinner took the covid at the beginning of February and was forced to give up the tournaments in Rotterdam and Marseille while Berrettini withdrew from the 500 in Acapulco for an abdominal discomfort. In March, on American soil, Sinner gave Indian Wells forfeit for flu symptoms before the round of 16 match against Kyrgios and then to Miami, first Berrettini gave up due to a problem in his right hand (which then was forced to undergo surgery) and lastly another Jannik retirement, this time after five games in the quarter-final with Cerundolo.

If we add everything together, we get a result of six retreats in just over a month and a half, four by Jannik and two by Matteo. If this is not bad luck!
There is no shortage of regrets as Berrettini could have come a long way in California as well as in Miami where Sinner too would have had great chances to replicate last year’s final given the development that had his share of the scoreboard.

We know our number one has always had his biggest weakness in the body, but it is equally true that every time he finds the best shape he always has some headache that forces him to stop again, as if it were a constant. Sinner is also not doing well from a health point of view given the problems he has had between Covid, flu and now also blisters on his feet. We know that the young redhead has recently embarked on a new technical path, leaving Piatti for Simone Vagnozzi and certainly all these forced stops do nothing but make that already delicate adaptation process more difficult, especially if you are in the middle of the season. .
The “cursed” moment, if we can call it that, seems not to be over yet as Matteo will have to stay in the pits for a long time to recover from the intervention by skipping Monte Carlo, Madrid (where he will lose the 600 points of last year’s final) and above all Rome , the home tournament to which he has always been linked.

Fortunately Sinner seems to have recovered from the blistering problems that shattered his dreams of glory on the Hard Rock Stadium fields, but it remains to be seen if he will be able to avoid other unpleasant setbacks from now on.
Beyond the results that are clearly not coming or at least not as much as they themselves would like, the thing that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth is the fact of not being able to fight to the best of one’s ability. We had already seen Berrettini play quite badly in Indian Wells (where the alleged breakup with Ajla Tomljanovic also probably affected) and also in Miami Sinner, with the exception of the great match with Kyrgios, he has always saved himself for his extraordinary mental strength, for the his idiosyncrasy to defeat and certainly not for the quality of the tennis expressed. On the other hand, recovering from all these ailments is not easy and could affect the body both in training and especially in the game.
It is said that patience is the virtue of the strong and it will be of great use in this phase both to us and especially to those directly concerned. The value of the two players is not in dispute just as there is no doubt about their desire to improve and reach higher and higher.
The “macumba” that someone seems to have thrown at us will eventually dissipate its effect and we will finally be able to return to that role as protagonists that now belongs to us.

Clearly there is nothing taken for granted or due, but it will be up to our two major representatives to try to return to those very high levels that they have already shown several times to have in their ropes.
The night is suddenly filled with clouds, but soon the breath of Zephyr will come to take them away and so we will return to see the stars again, those stars that after a long, long time have returned to shine in the firmament of Italian and world tennis.


Filippo Cretoni

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