Italian Tennis Stars Make Their Marks at the US Open

| Thu, 09/08/2022 - 08:16
Matteo Berrettini

For the first time since 1881, two Italian men reached the quarter-finals of the US Open tennis tournament in the same year.  

Causing a stir around the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (Flushing Meadows) — the site of the US Open Grand Slam tournament — Italian phenoms Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner are setting the tennis world on fire. 

At 21, Jannik Sinner (world No. 13) became the youngest player to reach a quarter-final in all four grand slam events since Novak Djokovic did it back in 2007-2008. Named ATP Newcomer of the Year, Sinner reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros (2020), the Australian Open (2022) and 2022 Wimbledon, where he went up two sets to love before eventually losing to the tournament champion Djokovic in five sets.  

Sinner, a lanky redhead from San Candido, Italy, has an easy-going nature — remaining cool, calm and collected under pressure. He has a fearsome two-handed backhand and a precision to his shots that keeps opponents on their toes.

Matteo Berrettini (ranked No. 14), the 26-year-old from Rome, is just as impressive. He’s made it to at least the quarter-finals in his last four majors, knocking out Scottish star Andy Murray in the third round to be one of the last eight men standing at this US Open — the fourth and final grand slam tournament of the year. 

Seeded thirteenth, Berrettini is known for his aggressive all-court game and one of the fastest serves on the tour.

No trophies…for now. 

On Wednesday, Berrettini suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the quarters by Norway’s Casper Rudd, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6.

On Thursday, Sinner went up against the third seed Carlos Alcaraz in an early morning battle that stretched five sets and lasted an epic five hours and 15 minutes. The young men traded punches until 3am — both making a valiant effort — before the Spanish teenager finally came out on top.

Berrettini and Sinner are not the only members of the next generation of “Made in Italy” tennis players to rise in the world rankings. At the time of publication, Italian men's tennis players on the ATP top 100 also include Lorenzo Musetti (no. 30), Fabio Fognini (no. 60) and Lorenzo Sonego (no. 63). 

The Italian women players are making their mark as well. Top-ranked in the world are Martina Trevisan (no. 27), Jasmine Paolini (no. 57), Lucia Bronzetti (no. 59), Camila Giorgi (no. 67) and Elisabetta Cocciaretto (no. 99). 

The future definitely looks bright for Italian tennis.