Matteo Berrettini: Behind the scenes with the first UTS champion
UTS1 champion Matteo Berrettini and Vincenzo Santopadre have become a dynamic duo over the last year. Here we take the cameras behind-the-scenes to understand more about their unique relationship.
Matteo Berrettini and his coach Vincenzo Santopadre have a deep connection that goes beyond tennis. The pair of Italians have teamed up to make history for their country, with Berrettini last season becoming the first player to reach the ATP’s year-end finals since Corrado Barazzutti in 1978.
“With Matteo it’s something special, because I am not just a coach and I am not just a friend – I am both,” says his longtime coach Vincenzo Santopadre, a nominee for the ATP’s coach of the year in 2019. “Last week I spent more than 40 weeks together with him – you can understand that it’s my job.”
This first champion in Ultimate Tennis Showdown history, Berrettini says he got there by staying relaxed. His comfort level with Santopadre helps him to avoid stress and keep his mind off the pressures.
“We have a great relationship,” says Berrettini. “And it’s good to have fun, even before the match, it’s important for me.”
It worked for him at UTS, where he defeated Richard Gasquet and Stefanos Tsitsipas in sudden death to earn the title.
𝙏𝙃𝙊𝙍 𝘿𝙀𝙏𝙃𝙍𝙊𝙉𝙀𝙎 𝙕𝙀𝙐𝙎 ⚡️
— UTS | Ultimate Tennis Showdown (@UTShowdown) July 12, 2020
“He’s talented… We have something more,” Santopadre says of the current World No 8. “We don’t know what his limits are.”