Matteo Berrettini breaks silence on Australian Open withdrawal as Nadal discovers opponent

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Matteo Berrettini has opened up on why he was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open ahead of his scheduled tie against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Berrettini had looked in good form over the opening rounds of the tournament, particularly with his straight-sets win over Karen Khachanov on Friday night.

That victory set up a fasinating fourth-round match against Tsitsipas with the winner set to face Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.

But just moments before the match was scheduled to begin, the Australian Open announced that Berrettini had been forced to withdraw from the tournament.

It means that Tsitsipas is given a bye into the quarter-finals, with Berettini confirming he was suffering from an abdominal issue.

“I pulled out, I had a problem with my abs,” he said.

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“I spoke to the doctor and they told me it can get worse so obviously I’m not 100 per cent and with the team I decided not to play because it’s not worth the risk on this big stage.”

He added: “What I felt at the end of the match with Khachanov was something that was bigger than I thought so I cannot play.

“During the match I felt something that I hoped wasn’t that big but I guess it is because I’m here not able to play.”

Tsitsipas will now face Nadal for a place in the semi-finals on Wednesday just months after their previous encounter.


The pair squared off at the 2020 ATP Finals in a round robin match, with Nadal coming out on top.

But matches between the two tend to be closely-fought encounters and Tsitsipas already has a win over the Spaniard on clay at the 2019 Madrid Open.

For Nadal, he’s hoping to win his first Australian Open since 2009 having been beaten in the final on four occasions since.

His last final appearance came in 2019 when Novak Djokovic defeated him in straight sets, but the Serbian is struggling with an abdominal injury.

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