Matteo Berrettini practices full throttle, to return in Stuttgart

Matteo Berrettini to skip 2023 French Open
Matteo Berrettini to skip 2023 French Open

After being sidelined with an injury for a few weeks, Matteo Berrettini has returned to his practice sessions in full flow ahead of the grasscourt season.

Berrettini suffered a grade 2 tear in his internal oblique muscle during his third-round win against Francisco Cerundolo at the Monte-Carlo Masters last month. The injury played a spoilsport in the remainder of his claycourt swing as he withdrew from the Madrid Open and Italian Open.

Last week, the World No. 20 announced that he was pulling out of the second Grand Slam tournament of the year — the French Open — after failing to recover from his abdominal injury. He added that he will return to action at the ATP 250 BOSS Open in Stuttgart, which will be played from June 12 to 18.

"Making good progress with my rehab and can't wait to be back competing. I will not be ready in time for Paris so my return to tour will be on grass at the @bossopen in Stuttgart," he announced via Instagram.

The Italian was also absent from last year's French Open due to a hand injury before COVID-19 ruined the Wimbledon Championships for him. However, he won the tournament in Stuttgart and will look to defend his title this time.

On Thursday, May 25, Berrettini took to social media to share a video of himself practicing on a hard court.

"Back hitting freely," he wrote on Instagram.
Berrettini wrote on his Instagram stories
Berrettini wrote on his Instagram stories

The 2023 BOSS Open will also mark the return of Nick Kyrgios, who is yet to play a tour-level match this season. Some of the other players to feature in the ATP 250 event are Frances Tiafoe, Lorenzo Musetti, Taylor Fritz, Hubert Hurkacz, Jan-Lennard Struff, and Grigor Dimitrov.

Matteo Berrettini impressed with Novak Djokovic's "inner fire"

Novak Djokovic (L) and Matteo Berrettini
Novak Djokovic (L) and Matteo Berrettini

Speaking on the Passa dal BSMT podcast recently, Matteo Berrettini heaped praise on 22-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic for his hunger to keep achieving more.

"Of course, the results and the records he achieves are impressive but what really leaves me speechless is his desire to always get back into the game. After all the goals he has achieved, he still has one more in sight. This inner fire is impressive,” he said.

The Serb leads 4-0 head-to-head against the Italian. They met in the final of the 2021 Wimbledon, where Djokovic won in four sets. Berrettini has had a below-par season so far in 2023, losing six out of his 13 matches.

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Edited by Anirudh
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