Few could imagine in 2019 that someone other than Fabio Fognini, the undisputed dominator of Italian tennis in recent years, would become the best tennis player of that country in the ATP ranking. No one could predict that he would overtake the veteran Sanremo player, who also entered the top-10 for a few weeks after winning in Monte Carlo.
But the Berrettini force was about to arrive, an unexpected star that in a few months of 2019 won two ATP titles, in Budapest and Stuttgart (in 2018 he had lifted his first trophy in Gstaad), he played the final in Munich and played a superb semifinal against Rafa Nadal in the US Open. It was an exceptional year crowned with the qualification for the Nitto ATP finals and was number eight in the year-end world rankings.
In view of so many successes, the ATP unanimously decided to award him with the most improved player of the year award in 2019. His progress has been outstanding: in 2017 he ended 135, in 2018 54 and 2019 in 8.
At 1.98 centimetres and 95 kilos of weight, Matteo Berrettini has positioned himself brilliantly in the elite, leading a plethoric Italian tennis that has become one of the greatest powers of the moment. At 23, the Roman is one of the great stars of tennis for which all tournaments fight to have him confirmed.
Mat, as he is known on the circuit, is directed by Vincenzo Santopadre. In 2020 he had to delay his start due to some abdominal problems that only allowed him to play two matches in the Australian Open: victories against Andrew Harris in the first round and defeat against Tennys Sandgren in the second round.