Matteo Berrettini makes ‘grass’ joke and opens up on working with Hailey Bieber

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Matteo Berrettini made a joke about a different type of grass following his success on the surface. The world No 10 was in good spirits after reaching the semi-finals at Queen’s on Friday and opened up on his recent partnership with Boss, which has given him the opportunity to work on campaigns with the likes of Hailey Bieber.

Berrettini is into the semi-finals at Queen’s where he is the defending champion and has already tasted victory on the grass this season by winning the title in Stuttgart last week. But he denied the idea that he was the best player on grass right now, though shared his love for the surface in an interesting way.

“I don’t consider myself the number one on grass. I think I like grass. I think… I like grass,” he laughed, realising the error of his comment. “At the airport they told me to not say that. Police officer. Don’t tell me that. I was sorry, I was being honest.”

After making a joke about the wrong type of grass, the Italian also opened up on his new life as one of the faces of Boss after becoming the first tennis player to become sponsored by the brand at the start of the year. The 26-year-old has gone on to star in campaigns with the likes of Hailey Bieber in Dubai, and admitted it was overwhelming to start working on the shoots.

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“The partnership started this year.  Obviously, we started talking with Boss at the end of last year. They liked me. They liked the way I was playing. They liked the stuff that I was saying after my matches. I guess they liked the look,” Berrettini laughed. While he was enjoying his role in modelling for the brand and co-designing collections, he said it was initially a shock to the system.

He explained: “I really liked them from the first meeting. They have been treating me really well. They are really excited about creating capsule collections together. Like, I’m codesiginer of all the outfits and stuff. It’s really something that would never happen. At the beginning [it] was different, it was a lot.

“I remember the first shooting that I did was 12 hours and I never did anything like that in my life. I felt like I was comfortable but there were 100 people working for this shoot and I was a little bit overwhelmed. I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do here.’ Then my family was there, my agent was there. They helped me. Also, the team helped me. They made me feel really good about it.”

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And the six-time title winner admitted it was nice to have the extra-curricular role outside of his tennis career, though remained focused on his day job. “I look at that stuff in a way that gives me energy because I have the chance to meet and connect with people that I wouldn’t have the chance if I was just a tennis player, but I always said the first thought that I have in my mind when I wake up is I’m playing tennis, I’m a tennis player and sometimes I have fun doing that.

“They are saying that I’m pretty good at it so they are happy about it and I have fun. So yes.  It’s different. When I saw the first billboard I was like wow. This is going to be different but it feels nice. It feels nice because I feel I work hard for that.”

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