‘I was looking for revenge,’ says Matteo Berrettini on Roger Federer withdrawal

Matteo Berrettini says getting a walkover in the fourth round of the French Open has robbed him of the chance to seek revenge on Roger Federer.

The Italian world number nine should have been playing the 20-time Grand Slam champion on Monday but was surprised to receive a walkover due to Federer’s withdrawal.

The Swiss ace came through a tough four set match against Dominik Koepfer in the early hours of Sunday morning and announced later that afternoon that he would no longer compete at Roland Garros to protect his fitness going into grass season.

The decision has caused controversy throughout tennis with many former players and pundits backing his decision, while others have felt it is disrespectful to the tournament and fellow players.

On the surface of it, Berrettini looks to have benefitted most out of Federer’s withdrawal, however, rather than be pleased, the Italian admits that is has caused him disruption and uncertainty in his schedule and taken away an opportunity he was looking forward to.

The pair have only played each other twice before, both in 2019 and both resulting in a Federer straight-set win so Berrettini was hoping for a chance to pull one back.

“I mean I was surprised, obviously,” Berrettini told Tennis Channel about Federer’s decision.

“I was already thinking about the match, how I lost against him twice so I was really looking for my revenge. Unfortunately, it couldn’t happen.

“I guess he’s still struggling a little bit with his knee. I wish him good luck and hopefully we’re going to see him back on grass.”

Berrettini also said he found himself in a unique situation of of having three days off through a Grand Slam and not really knowing how it would impact his momentum ahead of his quarter-final clash with Novak Djokovic.

“It never happened to me and actually now I have three days off,” Berrettini said.

“So with my team we just decided to have a day off [Sunday] and [Monday] practice…I really hope that it’s going to work.”

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