The ATP Finals made its debut in Turin, Italy today, but it wasn’t a good day for the home fans.
Italian favorite Matteo Berrettini had to retire to Alexander Zverev after dropping the first set 7-6(7) and going down 1-0 in the second due to a left oblique issue.
In his first appearance at the ATP Finals, Berrettini led the German 5-3 in the first set breaker.
“The atmosphere was one of the best I ever felt in my life,” Berrettini said. “It was unbelievable. That is probably why I feel so bad right now. Not being able to finish the match is killing me. It is just really tough to face. I really wanted to enjoy every second, that’s what we said as a team. The worst thing that could have happened, happened.”
Berrettini had a significant ab injury earlier in the year in Melbourne which forced him off the tour for multiple months.
“It is mentally really tough for me because I used to have an injury close to the same area, so it is tough to play,” Berrettini said. “Also, I don’t know what it is. I have to figure out what it is and then if it is nothing really big, maybe I can play. Tomorrow with my team and the doctor I will do some checks and I hope it won’t be something that won’t let me play the next two matches.
“I just felt around the same area on the serve. I got scared and the mental part is the most important part. I remember coming back from that injury, to serve at full power I had to be brave, which is not easy when you felt something before. It was just impossible to keep playing.”
Zverev felt bad for Berrettini.
“I don’t really know what to say, because this is the worst feeling a player can have,” Zverev told the crowd. “You play all year long to qualify for this beautiful tournament. For Matteo playing at home, this is the worst feeling I think he will ever have in his career.”
If there’s some good news, Berrettini’s replacement would be Jannik Sinner who is next in line to play if there’s a withdrawal.
Earlier, Daniil Medvedev opened his title defense with a tough 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 win over debutant Hubert Hurkacz. Medvedev never faced a break point in the match.
“I had zero break points to save, so in a way I was never under pressure,” Medvedev sid. “I had only two games on Hubert’s serve where I had break points. Super happy to make this work and managed to get both breaks.”
The Russian has won 23 of his last 26 matches, and will now meet Zverev on Tuesday in the Red Group.
Tomorrow, Novak Djokovic opens play against Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Andrey Rublev.
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