07 Jul Berrettini using Djokovic’s strategy coach as he plots Roge…
The Italian has been one of the surprise stories of the grass-court season, winning 11 of his 12 matches to date.
Berrettini boasts wins over Nick Kyrgios, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Karen Khachanov (twice), while his most recent victory over Argentina’s 24th seed Diego Schwartzman will give him a shot at Federer in the last-16 at the All England Club.
The 23-year-old has climbed from outside the top-50 to inside the top-20 in the last three months and his rapid rise has coincided with the deployment of tactics expert Craig O’Shannessy behind the scenes.
O’Shannessy – who runs strategy website Brain Game Tennis – is best known for his work with Djokovic, providing game plans for the world No. 1 since 2017 – in which time he has won three Grand Slam titles and returned to summit of the ATP rankings – but the Australian has consulted with the Italian federation for the past three years and now the ties with Berrettini have become a lot stronger.
The world No. 20 is not the only man to acquire O’Shannessy’s services – the Aussie charges Djokovic a lucrative retainer – with former US Open champion Sloane Stephens among those to hire him in the last six months.
Federer, according to The Telegraph, has been using agency Golden Set Analytics since making a return to the sport after a six-month absence due to a knee injury – winning three Grand Slams in that time – and he will hope their tactical nous gives him the edge over Berrettini’s when they clash on Monday.
After his 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 win over Schwartzman, Berrettini said: ‘I just started to use it, but slowly, like, because I have to work on other things, I mean, more now.
‘But we started, like, few months ago, and, yeah, I think it’s good for everybody. I mean, for top players especially, because maybe Roger, yeah, knows me now, but, I mean, not too much. He can figure out more what kind of player I am, what I like to do.
‘Yeah, tennis is growing. I mean, so I think it’s good.’
Asked if he was scared of 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer knowing him inside out, he added: ‘Yeah, I mean, I think Roger, I think he doesn’t need this to beat me, but… But, yeah, why not?
‘Yeah, I mean, I’m feeling proud because they are looking at me right now, like they are studying me. It’s kind of a compliment, you know, something you have to be proud of. So, yeah.’
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