Matteo Berrettini says fellow countryman Jannik Sinner plays like a 'machine' and has described him as a more aggressive Novak Djokovic.
It's not the first time the young Italian has been compared to the world number one, but Sinner is turning heads all on his own, recently reaching a Masters final and breaking in to the world's top 20 at only 19 years old.
Sinner is one of four Italians making an impact in the top 50 of tennis right now. Matteo Berrettini leads the pack ranked 10th in the world, Sinner behind in 18th place with Fabio Fognini and Lorenzo Sonego behind in 28th and 32nd place respectively.
Another Italian youngster Lorenzo Musetti, just seven months younger than Sinner, is also starting to make his mark, with many comparing him to a young Roger Federer.
But it is Sinner who Berrettini likened to a machine when he was recently asked to describe the youngsters game.
“My tennis is more based on serve and variations. I use more the slice, the short ball. Jannik Sinner is more of a machine,” the Italian told SuperTennis.
“I would like to say monochord but it is not the right definition. Let’s say that Jannik plays a little more like Djokovic, but he is more aggressive than Nole. He tries to play more.
“In my opinion his best shot is the backhand. He moves very well and tries to be very aggressive even when others are trying to push.
“We are two different players but we both have aggression as our main characteristic.”
Both players have had a successful week, Berrettini winning the Serbia Open while Sinner reached the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open and both are playing this week at the Madrid Masters.
Although a head to head seems unlikely with them being in different halves of the Madrid draw, the Italian pair have practiced together on a few occasions and Berrettini said they are well matched in practice.
“The last time we did an even set – in the sense that I won the first day, the day after him. So even.”
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