Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic continue to be the reference point for most of the players. The Big 3 are currently paired with 20 Grand Slams each, thanks largely to the Serbian’s legendary ride this 2021. The world number 1 has won three Majors this season, having had the chance to put the arrow at the US Open. Should he triumph in New York, the 34-year-old from Belgrade would become the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to complete the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’. Tension and fatigue played a nasty trick on Daniil Medvedev in the final, despite the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd being all on his side. The situation of Roger and Rafa is more complicated, both struggling with injuries. The Swiss has had knee surgery for the third time in the last year and a half, while the Spaniard is recovering from the foot problem that afflicts him from Roland Garros. During a long interview with ‘Gio Journal’, Matteo Berrettini was asked to name the most difficult player to face.
Berrettini on Roger Federer
“I would need to go with Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, or Roger Federer,” said Berrettini. “Arguably the three greatest players of all time. It has been exciting to be played simultaneously as all three, but also slightly annoying (joking) as I’d probably have a few more trophies at home.” According to Berrettini, players such as Djokovic and Williams would feel the weight of expectations even without the existence of media as they set lofty goals for themselves in the first place. “Even without the media, players would still feel the pressure,” continued the Italian. “They have trained their whole lives to win trophies, achieve personal goals, and break and set incredible records when it comes to Serena and Novak. So they also put pressure on themselves. They know how significant their achievements are and potentially how important they could be to whatever they are trying to achieve.” Hence, when asked who is the best ambassador of the sport, Berrettini naturally responded the name of his childhood idol. Here’s what he said. “Roger. I admire the example he sets, and the time he gives to the sport off the court and away from the cameras,” Berrettini told John Russo of Gio. “I feel he understands that he has the power to have a much more significant impact on the world in general. Whether it is his charity work or sitting on the ATP player council for so many years, he utilizes the sport and his popularity to impact as many lives as he can positively.”