Berrettini 'Enjoying Time On Court' After Reaching Phoenix Challenger Final

Berrettini 'Enjoying Time On Court' After Reaching Phoenix Challenger Final

by Nurein Ahmed

Matteo Berrettini could not conceal his delight after enjoying a highly productive return to the court at this week's Phoenix Challenger.

The man nicknamed "The Hammer" powered through the draw at the Arizona Tennis Classic, one of the most prestigious Challenger tournaments on the circuit, with a mix of clutch serving and outstanding resilience to reach the final in his comeback tournament.

The 27-year-old has battled a series of injuries in the past year, which derailed his start to 2024. Before Phoenix, Berrettini last played at the 2023 US Open, where he retired from his second-round match against Arthur Rinderknech after rolling his ankle.

He was forced to watch from the stands as Italy lifted their second Davis Cup title last autumn in Malaga. Berrettini also made coaching changes, ending his long-term association with Vincenzo Santopadre and appointing Francisco Roig, one of Rafael Nadal's former coaches, to replace him.

But despite traveling to Melbourne to compete in the 2024 Australian Open, he was forced to withdraw due to persistent pain in his foot. He fell outside the world's Top 150 in recent weeks, but there was chink of sunlight in his career after all.

This week, Berrettini has won a trio of three-set matches from a set down. On Saturday, he played his quarterfinal and semifinal matches within a span of a few hours because of rain.

He defeated Aleksandar Vukic 7-6, 7-6 to reach the final match, where he will face defending champion Nuno Borges on Sunday. The Italian is delighted to overcome his physical struggles and is "enjoying" being on a match court, as quoted in an interview with

"I did so much work over the last [six] months that I couldn’t compete. I really pushed through. So many sad moments unfortunately and I think that’s where I found the energy today, I just thought about the injuries and [those] moments. I’m just enjoying my time on court."


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