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September 2, 2019

Matteo Berrettini

New York, NY, USA


6-1, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling to be in the quarterfinal?
MATTEO BERRETTINI: For sure I'm really happy. Like I said on the court, I'm really proud of myself, my team. I was coming from an injure, so didn't expect for sure to be quarterfinal here.

Never won a match in this draw. Kind of unexpected but really, really happy.

Q. I saw you this year in Budapest on clay, Halle on grass, now hard court. Wherever I see you, you're fantastic. What is actually your favorite surface?
MATTEO BERRETTINI: Right now it's tough to say (smiling).

I was saying before this tournament clay and grass. Before grass season I was saying clay. Right now I can say, like, all those surfaces. I think this kind of trip started long time ago, four years ago, with my coach. I used to play a lot on clay. I used to practice on clay.

But my coach said, Okay, we have to improve on faster surfaces. So I played a lot of futures in 2015. I played 70% of the matches on hard courts. I did an investment for my career.

Of course, my weapons are good for hard courts, but it's not that easy, especially because I'm tall. I like to play when I have time. I think that's the biggest work that I did during these years.

Q. If you face Gael, it's somebody who is much older than you are, has more experience on the tour. What has been your experience in watching him play over the years?
MATTEO BERRETTINI: I remember watching him since I was really young. He's unbelievable. He's an athlete. First, he's an athlete, and then he's a tennis player. The way he moves on the court, the way he jumps is something, like, crazy.

I've been watching him also in last match against Shapovalov. He was playing really good. In the first, he was 4-1 in serving, was kind of close. Then Shapo came back and was a great fight.

I'm really looking forward to playing one of those two guys. Could really be a pleasure to play against him.

Q. If it's Andujar, what are your thoughts about playing him?
MATTEO BERRETTINI: I played him in Roland Garros this year. For sure, it's a different surface. It's different round. We played each other first round, so it's going to be different for sure.

He's playing well. He beat Lorenzo Sonego, big friend of mine. If it's gonna be him, I'm really looking for a big revenge.

Q. If you compare your styles of play with his and with Gael's...
MATTEO BERRETTINI: I'm going to use my weapons, for sure. Normally I don't adjust my tennis for others. I just think about myself, my serve, my forehand, then I start to think about others.

So for sure I have to play my best tennis to beat them. Right now I think is time to rest a little bit, enjoy the win, then tomorrow I'll going to think about the next match.

Q. You mentioned your serve and forehand. Recently it's been your slice and net play that have been impressive. How did you develop those? Not many people with two-handed backhands have good slices.
MATTEO BERRETTINI: Yeah, it started when I was 17 and I got injured on my left wrist, so I played, like, three months just with the slice. Vincenzo, my coach, he used to play just slice, no spin at all, no topspin at all. I guess he knows how to teach slice.

I been working a lot -- I'm practicing a lot with Flavio Cipolla, good friend of mine, playing with unbelievable slice. I called him and said, I was playing the slice like you today because I was feeling really well.

Yeah, that's the secret.

Q. And volleys, net play.
MATTEO BERRETTINI: Yeah, I think I could go to the net more. This is one of our goal for the future. But, yeah, I'm feeling pretty confident on the net, yeah.

Q. Italy gave a lot of champions and legends to the sport. 133 Italian players. You are the first one to make the quarterfinals on the hard courts at the US Open. Anybody in Italian history impress your career? Maybe if you contact them, got some motivation?
MATTEO BERRETTINI: Yeah, I mean, Corrado Barazzutti is the last one that did semifinal here, first one, last one. For sure he's here. He's my Davis Cup captain. We're talking every day. He's helped me a lot.

For sure I'm coming from Rome, so Adriano Panatta is coming from there. He usually text me a lot. I have to say he's the first one that told me you're going to serve like 220 kilometers per hour. I was 16 when I heard that. I was, like, I don't know. If you say that, I'm going to trust you (smiling).

Yeah, for me they are so -- they're guys that I have to look to. Tennis for sure is different right now. But the mental part of tennis is the same. I'm looking those kind of matches, those kind of mental toughness. Yeah, they're really inspiring me.

Q. There was a mention on the telecast about where you've gone for some meals in New York, dinners. What has been your approach to the New York restaurant scene?
MATTEO BERRETTINI: Actually, before the tournament I was mixing, because I like sushi, I like -- I have to say in Italy you are a good fork, you can eat a lot. I was mixing a lot.

During the tournament, I like to have pasta. So I went to this guy, Giovanni, he has a restaurant called Via Della Pace. We went there. We are having a lot of fun with him. He's a super nice guy. Yeah, that's all.

Q. What was in your mind in the third set with the break? Were you thinking, I'm going through to the next round?
MATTEO BERRETTINI: Yeah, for sure. First of all, I'm glad that you're seeing that I'm calm on the court, but inside for sure I'm not. I'm feeling I have feelings when I'm playing. It's been hard work to be like this on the court. Usually I'm like this.

There are times, like, I'm complaining a little bit more. It's tough, you know. I know that to play this kind of tennis, this kind of level, you have to be like this. I'm working hard with my team, with my mental coach, about this.

When I got the break, I just said to myself, Okay, it's normal, it's tennis. If you start to complain right now about that serve that you didn't put any first serve, you're going to lose the tiebreak for sure.

You have to be ready, because the chance is going to come. You're playing well. Actually we are both playing well. You have to fake a little bit to yourself also. I was confident.

I think I did a great job.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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