The Italians of tennis end 2022 with six ATP tournaments won in total and, as of the ninth of January, they also manage to place three in the world Top 20. Results that certainly bode well for 2023, with Berrettini 14th leading the pack followed by Sinner 16th and Musetti 19th. The wagering portal scommessetennis.net also confirms the Azzurri’s magical moment, as they manage to wrest consensus from national and international bookmakers. The Italian Tennis Federation itself awarded the men’s SuperTennis Award to Lorenzo Musetti for winning two ATP tournaments in the year just ended. But let’s go in order.
Matteo Berrettini lifted his first trophy in Stuttgart, in the Boss Open 2022, in the final against Andy Murray 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. It was a tournament he had already won three years earlier, but it was a different story: Berrettini had been injured about three months earlier, in Miami, and the season debut on grass, with a win against the Englishman, served to find the momentum to arrive loaded at Queen’s in London and win that too. Despite the two victories, Matteo will drop out of the Top 10, dropping to 11th position first and 15th then withdrawing from Wimbledon due to COVID-19. The year 2022 will end with the final in Naples, the first edition of the tournament, lost to Lorenzo Musetti 7-6, 6-2. He will reach the 14th ranking position thanks to his performance in the 2023 United Cup played at the turn of the year.
The summer will continue to bring joy to Italian tennis players. First of all, with the sumptuous performance with which Musetti beat Alcaraz (world number 6) in his first ATP final in Hamburg, which also crowned him the youngest Italian to have defeated a Top 10 player in a major circuit final; then with Jannik Sinner, who again defeated Alcaraz in the Croatia Open Umag final, which he won 6-7, 6-1, 6-1. It was the first final of the season for Sinner and the first in his career on clay.
In this series of victories, Lorenzo Sonego also decided to join in. He won the 2022 Moselle Open by beating Aleksandr Bublik 7-6, 6-2 in the final. He is the first Italian ever to win the Metz tournament, and for the Turin-born player it represents the third ATP title in his career, the first on indoor cement. The other annual title, as we said, came in the final between Musetti and Berrettini, who faced each other for the first time on a circuit and the first time for both in a final on cement. The total is therefore six seasonal titles, one less than the record of 2021 (4 Sinner, 2 Berrettini and 1 Sonego) and 1977 (3 Bertolucci, 3 Barazzutti and 1 Panatta).
The year 2023 is looking good, although with some concerns about the physical condition of Berrettini and Sinner, who were already conditioned in 2022, never at their peak. Apart from that, Berrettini seems to be ready to win a Grand Slam tournament as he has proven several times that he can make it at least to the quarters and even beyond (as in the Australian Open in 2022). And it is precisely in Melbourne, starting on 16 January, that the Roman tennis player will have to defend his 2022 semi-final points.
A lot is also expected from Sinner who, despite his young age, has shown that he can play with anyone with an open mind. This year, the South Tyrolean could make up the technical deficit that has cost him more than one match and thus achieve the long-awaited results, also thanks to new coach Simone Vagnozzi. Finally (but expectations are lower on him than on his two compatriots despite the excellent performances of the past year), Musetti, who could reserve pleasant surprises and give us some more ATP titles or perhaps, who knows, a slam semi-final.