MILAN: Matteo Berrettini is quietly confident he can win Wimbledon after retaining his Queen’s Club title over the weekend to join an elite group of players and continue an impressive return from injury.
World number 11 Berrettini defeated Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-4 in Sunday’s final of the warm-up event for the grass court Grand Slam to claim his second straight title in London, a week after beating Andy Murray to the honours in Stuttgart.
The 26-year-old Italian lost to Novak Djokovic in last year’s Wimbledon final and is keen to go one better this year after bouncing back from a near three-month injury lay-off to win two tournaments in a row.
“I don’t know if I’m the favourite as Novak and Rafa (Nadal) are always there; Rafa has already won two Slams and no-one expected him to win in Australia,” said Berrettini in an interview with Sky Sport Italia broadcast on Monday.
“I don’t feel like I’m the favourite but I know I can do it, I can’t pull the wool over people’s eyes. My aim is to have a big tournament at Wimbledon and I hope it will be two intense weeks.”
Sunday’s victory meant Berrettini joined John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Murray as the only players in the Open era to win back-to-back Queen’s titles.
Before his two recent wins Berrettini had gone through a difficult few months, dropping out in Acapulco with abdominal problems in February and then missing the entire European clay court swing following hand surgery.
“After a really good week in Stuttgart it would have been easy to not exactly take my foot off the gas but let my problems overwhelm me,” he said. “Instead I found the right energy levels and to win such a prestigious tournament is really very special.”
Wimbledon begins next Monday, with the ATP and WTA tours stripping the event of ranking points after the All England Club’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players following the invasion of Ukraine.