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Matteo Berrettini suffers same fate as Emma Raducanu as tennis star comes under fire

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Tennis star Matteo Berrettini has suffered similar criticism to that of Emma Raducanu. The 26-year-old was slammed by fellow Italian and former player Nicola Pietrangeli, claiming he is focused primarily on sponsorship deals and not his game, while also criticising his movement.

“It seems to me that Matteo is devoting himself more to advertising than to tennis,” the former Roland Garros champion said during a conversation with Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I wouldn’t like him to end up like Volandri, who after beating Federer in Rome, didn’t do anything again. He’s a good guy, he reminds me a bit of Pannatta. Very handsome from the waist up, but his legs don’t move as they should.”

The same criticism was aimed at Raducanu, who following her 2021 US Open triumph got several brand ambassador and sponsor deals with the likes of British Airways, Vodafone and Evian. Early last year some comments on social media highlighted her growing list of commercial partners and off court commitments.

Porsche announced a deal with the 20-year-old last March and the former British No 1 had to defend herself, insisting her main priority is improving results on the court. “Maybe you just see, on the news or on social media, me signing this or that deal and I feel like it’s quite misleading because I’m doing five, six hours a day [of training], I’m at the club for 12 hours a day,” Raducanu told various national newspapers.

“But I throw out one post in the car on the way to practice and all of a sudden it’s ‘I don’t focus on tennis’. I think that it is unfair but it’s something I have learned to deal with and become a bit more insensitive to the outside noise. I feel like my days [with sponsors] are pretty limited. I’m not doing crazy days. I’m doing three, four days every quarter, so it’s really not that much.”

Continuing to analyse Italian players, Pietrangeli had high praise for the country’s top ranked player Jannik Sinner and rising star Lorenzo Musetti. “The world has changed and tennis too, and it has done it for the worse. It’s an uglier sport,” he added.
“Before, if you were talented, you had to work physically; now if you’re not a great athlete, you can’t even consider getting on a court. He is the best Italian at the moment, although he has a very different style from mine.

“Above all, he has a great advantage, and that is that he seems much more German than Italian. The one I like the most is Lorenzo Musetti, his tennis is the most beautiful.”

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