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Berrettini pulls out of clay court Masters events, putting French Open preparations under a cloud

The 2021 Wimbledon runner-up recently underwent surgery on his right hand

Matteo Berrettini at the Rio Open in 2022 Matteo Berrettini at the Rio Open in 2022 Image Credit: Fotoarena / Panoramic

World No 6 Matteo Berrettini has pulled out of the next three big clay court events due to the recent surgery he underwent on his right hand, putting his French Open preparations under a cloud.

The 25-year-old Italian announced on Thursday that he had pulled out of events in Monte-Carlo, Madrid, and Rome. He has also pulled out of the recent Miami Open with the same injury and then announced he underwent surgery to address the issue.

In a post on social media, the 2021 Wimbledon runner-up said,

“Following advice from the medical experts, my team and I have decided that it is crucial I do not put time pressure on my recovery process. We have therefore decided I should withdraw from Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome tournaments to ensure I give myself the proper amount of time to return at my highest level.

“Withdrawing from these events, particularly Rome, was an extremely tough decision, however it is the right one to ensure many more years of competing at the highest level for the biggest trophies. Thanks very much for all the support. My recovery process is on track and I look forward to seeing you on-court soon.”

Berrettini joins Nadal, Medvedev and Thiem on absentee list

Berrettini has a 9-6 record on the tour in 2022, highlighted by reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January for the first time in his career.

He is the latest big name player to pull out of the first clay court Masters Series event of the season. 11-time Monte-Carlo champion Rafael Nadal (rib injury), world No 2 Daniil Medvedev (hernia procedure) and former US Open champion Dominic Thiem (just recovered from COVID-19) have also pulled out.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic will compete in Monte-Carlo, marking only his second event of the year. The Serb lost in the quarter-finals of the ATP 500 event in Dubai.

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