Matteo Berrettini wants it to be known that he would not be the player he is today were it not for his idol Roger Federer.
The 2021 Wimbledon finalist is making his second consecutive appearance at the Laver Cup this year after his debut in Boston last September.
After opening day two with a win for Team Europe, Berrettini reflected on the send off held for Federer the night before.
“Having the chances to live what we lived yesterday is something that’s going to be stuck in my heart and my brain forever,” he revealed in press. “I’m not lying when I say that I’m here because of him. Like he was really the one that I was looking up to.
“He was the one that I was supporting, cheering for him. I was getting upset, I remember crying after he lost the final in 2009 in Australia because he was crying.
“So for me, living these moments is something really that means everything. So it was tough, tough to sleep. I didn’t get a lot of sleep.
“But at the same time, I was really pumped to step in and give my best. I’m really happy obviously for the win.
“But I feel like this weekend we’re kind of celebrating something that is bigger than Laver Cup, than tennis. It’s just him.”
Berrettini had the pleasure of facing Federer twice in competition, in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2019 as well as in the group stage of the ATP Finals later that year.
The Italian lost both matches, with the Wimbledon occasion particularly seeming to overwhelm him as he lost 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.