Nick Kyrgios has backed fellow Netflix Break Point star Matteo Berrettini after the Italian came under fire for pursuing commercial opportunities by Italian tennis great Nicola Pietrangeli.
The 89-year-old, who won two singles titles at Roland-Garros in 1959 and 1960, is considered by many to be the greatest champion in the history of Italian tennis, but tore into Berrettini, who is currently the third-ranked Italian male on tour.
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“He is handsome but his legs don’t move the way they should on court,” Pietrangeli told Gazetta dello Sport.
“He is a good boy, but he is a bit like (Adriano) Panatta was: fantastic from the waist up, but the legs don’t move as they should.”
“He is too concerned with advertising.
“Sinner is the best Italian player.”
Jannik Sinner is the top ranked Italian on tour, currently ranked World No. 14 and having reached the quarterfinals of every Grand Slam last year.
Berrettini reached the 2021 Wimbledon final, where he managed to take a set off Novak Djokovic, but has struggled to rediscover top form since then.
Kyrgios ripped in on Twitter, saying that Berrettini’s life off the court was his own responsibility.
“Isn’t it his choice to prioritise?” said the Australian.
“I can assure you this, he is making more bank than Sinner off the court and for some of us, money is important.”
Berrettini has won over $10.7 million in prize money in his career, and has a signature clothing range with Hugo Boss.
Kyrgios and Berrettini, who have dated Australia’s top ranked female player Ajla Tomjlanovic, both featured in the first season of Netflix’s tennis documentary Break Point.
Last year, Kyrgios skipped Australia’s Davis Cup campaign to play exhibition tournaments in Dubai and Saudi Arabia for “six figures”, and has made no secret of his desire to set himself up financially for once his tennis career is over.
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