Matteo Berrettini has confirmed he has withdrawn from the 2021 ATP Finals due to injury. He sustained the problem during his opening round-robin match against Alexander Zverev and was forced to retire shortly after the first set.
The Italian was spotted a few hours ago practicing for his next match against Hubert Hurkacz, raising hopes that he might have shaken off the injury. However, Berrettini ultimately decided against potentially aggravating the injury and confirmed his withdrawal from the season-ending event.
The Italian said he was "devastated" at having to pull out of the competition held in his home country in such a manner. Berrettini said he badly wanted to continue playing in front of his home crowd, but felt that his body wasn't up to the challenge.
"Hi guys. I've been thinking, thinking, crying and finally decided...my Finals end here. I'm devastated, never thought I'd have to give up the most important event held in Italy like this," Berrettini said. "The truth is that as much as I wanted to play in front of you one more time, I felt and therefore decided that my body is not ready to face the challenges I face."
Berrettini said he was disappointed that the effort he had put in to get to this point had gone to waste.
"Saying I'm sad wouldn't do justice to the mood I'm in, I feel robbed of something I've conquered with years of effort and sweat. It wasn't an easy decision, but I'm convinced it's the best for me and my career," he added. "Thank you for your continued support and the thousands of messages you sent me, you made me emotional. Thank you, Mat."
Jannik Sinner to replace Matteo Berrettini at the ATP Finals
Jannik Sinner is the first alternate at the ATP Finals and will take Matteo Berrettini's place. The young Italian will make his ATP Finals bow against Hubert Hurkacz later on Tuesday. Their previous meeting was in the final of the 2021 Miami Open, which Hurkacz won in straight sets.
Sinner can qualify for the semifinals if he wins both his matches and Alexander Zverev loses to Hurkacz.