If tennis fans had a task to point their finger at the unluckiest player on the ATP Tour in the period of the past year, it would be certainly Matteo Berrettini. Last year, the Italian missed the full clay-court season, but he managed to come back.
After he came back, Berrettini won two successive grass-court tournaments, but once again he was hit by a spell of a bud luck as he was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon where he was the defending finalist.
Looking to forget all of that, he entered the 2023 season high in hopes. But once again, an injury forced him to miss almost the full clay-court season, withdrawing from the Roland Garros and all lead-up events.
But once the grass-court season was back, Berrettini knew that once again he can prove his qualities on his favourite surface, but that didn't happen. In the first round of the 2023 Stuttgart Open, the 27-year-old lost to fellow Italian Lorenzo Sonego, while being able to win only three games.
With all of that disappointment, and maybe also a little bit of added pressure because of his relationship that seems to be in the spotlight, Berrettini could not hold his emotions back as he was leaving the court.
As the match concluded, an emotional scene unfolded that resonated with everyone present. Berrettini, the man who had dominated grass courts like a gladiator in the recent past, exited the stage in tears. This was not just a moment of defeat, but a humbling reminder of the volatility and unpredictability of the sport.
Every athlete's journey is punctuated with peaks and troughs, victories and losses, and it's the ability to endure and rise above these hurdles that truly shapes a champion. Berrettini's poignant exit from the Stuttgart Open is a testament to the profound emotions that sport can evoke, and a touching reminder that beneath the resilience and tenacity, every player is human, susceptible to the highs and lows of the game.