So much for the quaran-fifteen. Matteo Berrettini is among the disciplined few who have been able to lose weight while on lockdown.
The 24-year-old made history last year by becoming the first Italian to win a singles match at the Nitto ATP Finals. But despite a breakout season that saw him finish at a career-high standing of No. 8 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, his attention quickly turned to improving his on-court stamina.
The powerful baseliner felt worn out at the end of a grueling season that saw him play 24 tour-level events and go deep in many of them. Although racking up match wins is a problem that any player would like to have, Berrettini decided to make off-court training a priority during last year’s pre-season in Monte-Carlo. He’s continued that trend while currently staying at his training base in Florida with his girlfriend, WTA player Ajla Tomljanovic.
“We were all tired playing at the end of the year, but all the guys [in London] had more energy. They were better than me physically,” Berrettini said to ATPTour.com “When the tournament finished, I told my team that I wanted to improve this for the next year. I wanted to arrive in better condition if I qualified again. I’m still in touch all the time with my fitness trainer, who is with his family now in Italy, and also my coach.”
Berrettini started putting more emphasis on lateral movement drills, while continuing to work on his endurance and strength. He also has time now to experiment with new methods of training and recently tried yoga for the first time.
The results of his hard work have already paid off. Recent photos that Berrettini posted on Instagram showed a noticeably slimmer physique.
“If it looks like that, then that’s great,” Berrettini said, smiling. “I care about my weight, but it’s not my top priority at this moment. I don’t have to play matches, so I don’t have to be that strict with the diet. But it’s also very hot here and I’m working hard, so I’m sweating a lot. I weighed myself before and after practice the other day and had lost four kilograms.”
Most importantly, Berrettini is back at full strength after dealing with a lingering groin injury sustained during last year’s pre-season. The injury forced him to withdraw from the ATP Cup and he re-aggravated it before the start of the Australian Open. But while the Italian has spent more time in the gym than on the court over the past five months, it’s not an unfamiliar situation to him.
“My knee injury [in 2016] gave me seven months to work on my body, so I felt much better when I came back. This situation is much tougher though,” Berrettini said. “My mindset was to use this time to get better, but also come back as soon as possible. Now I’m ready, but understandably, the Tour is not.”
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Berrettini also has some extra encouragement by having Tomljanovic join him in the gym. He’s used to having his team push him through grueling workouts and has found the support from the Aussie to be beneficial.
“We work out together and it’s really helpful that she’s there. She pushes me to run more and do more,” Berrettini said. “I used to work out with my brother and it helped me a lot, so I’m really happy when I can train with someone.”