Kyrgios leaps to Berrettini’s defence and compares earnings to Sinner

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Nick Kyrgios has leapt to the defence of Matteo Berrettini after the Italian was accused of prioritising advertising and commercial opportunities over his career on court. Italian tennis icon Nicola Pietrangeli recently slammed his compatriot  for not focusing on tennis and claimed that Jannik Sinner was in fact the nation’s best player. 

Pietrangeli said that world No. 23 Berrettini’s legs ‘don’t move in the way they should’ on court, and claimed he is more concerned with becoming a media star rather than dedicating himself to winning tennis matches. 

And Pietrangeli also believes rising youngster Sinner is already a more accomplished player than Berrettini, who was defeated by Brit Andy Murray in an epic Australian Open first round match in Melbourne last month. 

“It seems to me that Matteo is devoting himself more to advertising than to tennis,” Pietrangeli told Gazzetta dello Sport. “He is a good boy, but he is a bit like Panatta was: fantastic from the waist up, but the legs don’t move as they should.”

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Controversial Australian star Kyrgios was not impressed with Pietrangeli’s damning criticism of Berrettini, suggesting the 26-year-old’s life away from the court should not be anyone else’s business. 

Kyrgios claimed that former Wimbledon finalist Berrettini earns more money than Sinner away from the court and his decision to pursue other income streams should not be derided. 

“But isn’t it his choice to prioritise?” he wrote on Twitter. “I can assure you this, he is making more bank than Sinner off the court and for some of us, money is important.”

Pietrangeli, meanwhile, was not only brutal in his verdict on Berrettini, but also the current state of tennis. The former Roland Garros champion reserved praise for emerging Italian players Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti, but thinks the modern sport has become too much of a power game.

“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.

“[Sinner] 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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