"It's a noble gesture, of belonging to the team" - Nicola Pietrangeli on Matteo Berrettini's decision to stand by his teammates for the Davis Cup despite withdrawal

Nicola Pietrangeli (L) and Matteo Berrettini
Nicola Pietrangeli (L) and Matteo Berrettini

World No. 16 Matteo Berrettini recently announced his withdrawal from the 2022 Davis Cup Finals after having failed to recover from the foot injury he suffered during the Napoli Cup. The sustained injury has already prevented the Italian from taking part in the Vienna Open and the Paris Masters. With medical experts suggesting further rest, Berrettini had no other option but to pull out of the Davis Cup as well.

Although Berrettini will not be in action on the court, he conveyed that he will be traveling with the team to cheer for his mates. In a recent conversation with Eurosport, former tennis player Nicola Pietrangeli reacted to the 'noble gesture' from the 26-year-old.

"It's a noble gesture, of belonging to the team. In Bologna, we saw how united they are. His presence will be essential. Tennis players love being in a team, even if they have very few opportunities during the season," Pietrangeli expressed.

During his conversation, Pietrangeli also proposed the favorites for this year's Davis Cup title. Due to the exclusion of Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner from the Italian team, the 89-year-old did not pick his home nation to be a possible contender for the title.

"Up until a few weeks ago I thought the 'final' would be the fourth between Italy and the United States. At this point the Americans are favourites, followed by Canada,” the two-time Grand Slam champion asserted.

"Disappointment for everyone" - Italy captain Filippo Volandri on missing Matteo Berrettini in the Davis Cup Finals

Matteo Berrettini was last seen in action at the 2022 Napoli Cup
Matteo Berrettini was last seen in action at the 2022 Napoli Cup

The absence of Berrettini in the squad has added to the Italian team's woes as Jannik Sinner has already withdrawn from the Davis Cup Finals.

With the top two Italians failing to represent the country in Malaga, the captain of the side, Filippo Volandri, reflected on the immense loss.

"Obviously Matteo's absence is a disappointment for everyone," Volandri stated.

However, Volandri expressed delight at Berrettini's decision to stay with the team and lend support.

"Matteo is going to be with us to give us his support. It's not often that players who aren't playing decide to travel and just support from the bench," the 41-year-old stated.

The depleted Italian side will face a tough test on Thursday when they take on the favorites USA in the quarter-finals.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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