“Mentally I wasn’t ready to face the challenge” – Berrettini recaps difficult recovery and his plans for playing Australian Open

After another lengthy, and mentally challenging rehab, Matteo Berrettini says he’s ready to start aiming for the 2024 Australian Open.

Matteo Berrettini Matteo Berrettini (Ita) practising at Indian Wells (Antoine Couvercelle/Panoramic)

A ruptured ankle ligament – the latest in a long line of serious and debilitating injuries – has kept Italy’s Matteo Berrettini on the sidelines since the US Open, and during that time the former world No 6 has had to undergo some soul searching.

On Wednesday at Davis Cup, Berrettini revealed his mindset, and the psychological hurdles he had to overcome after learning that his ankle would require serious rehabilitation to get back to 100 percent.

“There are many, many reasons why I was really sad,” Berrettini confessed. “First of all, obviously because I couldn’t compete, which is the thing that I love to do.

“Then there was another thing that came in. I wasn’t enjoying the process of coming back. Unfortunately [in the past] I had many injuries, but I always found, not the joy, but the challenge of coming back and feeling kind of like, okay, now I put the work in.”

This time around Berrettini said that he had trouble seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel as he commenced yet another rehab.

I wasn’t enjoying the process of coming back.

— Matteo Berrettini

“When I was feeling something on my body, I was really struggling. I went down. Mentally I wasn’t ready to face the challenge,” he said.

The 27-year-old, currently ranked 90, said he needed time to process his challenge and get his mind in the right place to tackle the work.

“It was just really important for me to stop and think a little bit and take my time,” he said. “Because the body and the mind, they go together.”

Australian Open is the goal

Now in Malaga as a non-playing supporter, Berrettini says he is currently on track to make his return in time for the 2024 Australian Open.

“Hopefully I’m going to start in Australia,” he said. “That’s the goal, to play as many matches as possible next year.

“I’m working hard right now to get ready. I love to play in Australia. I had great memories there, and it’s a swing that I always really like to go there and play there.

“I think it’s doable. So I’m working hard for that.”

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