Matteo Berrettini recently laid down some of the attributes that he would like to imbibe from Rafael Nadal. During a Q&A session ahead of his Madrid opener, Berrettini talked about a variety of topics specific to the Masters 1000 event and Spain.
When asked about what aspect he would like to steal from Spanish players, the Italian first joked that he would love to have the title-rich career that Rafael Nadal has had.
"So any Spanish player? Um, Rafa..." Berrettini said. "I would steal the titles from Rafa. No, I'm joking."
Matteo Berrettini then pointed out that Rafael Nadal's well-built physique, coupled with the fact that he plays left-handed, makes him an object of envy for many players.
"The fact that he's so strong physically and also a lefty, I think it's a big weapon," Berrettini said.
It is these attributes - and a few others - that have helped Rafael Nadal win 87 titles in this career. 20 of those titles happen to be Grand Slams; Nadal shares the all-time record for most Slams with Roger Federer.
The Spaniard has also established an unshakable monopoly at Roland Garros over the years, where he has triumphed 13 times. But he is not the only player from the famed Spanish armada who has left a mark in tennis, even though he might be the winningiest one.
"They have a great heart and they fight until the end of every match" - Matteo Berrettini on Rafael Nadal and the rest of the Spanish players
Several of Rafael Nadal's countrymen, like David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Tommy Robredo, have enjoyed great success in the sport. Spanish players are also known for their never-say-die attitude, which helps them overcome any physical limitations they may have.
While both Ferrer and Robredo have won a Masters 1000 title and have been ranked in the top 5 for long periods, Verdasco can boast of some good results of his own. The southpaw has won seven tour titles and he even reached the 2009 Australian Open semis, where he incidentally went down to Rafael Nadal himself.
Matteo Berrettini lavished praise on the qualities of Spanish players during the interaction, and insisted that all of them are 'really good fighters'.
"Overall I think all the Spanish players are really good fighters, they have a great heart and they fight until the end of every match," Berrettini said. "So yeah I would steal these characteristics."