Giant (196 cm) Francesco Maestrelli, 20, from Pisa, the 200th in the world, is about to leave: the destination is Australia and New Zealand with ambitious goals. The tennis player from Pisa who started the year around 750 last year had a really great season with a win at the first Challenger tournament, in Verona, and first attendance in a Grand Slam qualifying draw, at the US Open, and losing. In the last round against Nuno Borges, entry, for the first time, among the top 200 players in the world, debut in the ATP tournament, in the 250 in Florence and the icing on the cake in the call-up in Davis Cup By Captain Filippo Volandri, as sparring partner for the Azzurri team in Bologna.
A door closes and now the door opens because the crossbar is up? “Yes, it’s true because the goal is to get close to the top 100 in the world and in recent months I’ve worked a lot with the technicians in Tirrenia to consolidate the level achieved this year – says Maestrelli – but I’m confident and I have a lot of energy. If I think about it at the start Year, I didn’t know if I could play Futures and in October I did ATP 250 in Florence In my area this means dreams come true. I start from these experiences like the victory in Verona, even in this case I didn’t even have to play and then I won the title..
overall satisfaction? I was part of the Davis Cup team – Maestrelli says Maybe we Tuscans are too attached to the team competitions, but being part of the Davies team is something unique because I saw the atmosphere and I liked the air you breathe.. 2023 goal? “To play in the international tournaments for Italy but to go back there you have to be close to the top 100, and so I would have to make another important jump especially during the summer months – says the Pisa dragon that is his nickname – and then be able to enter the Grand Slam. Losing against Nuno Borges at the US Open In the last round he scored me. This was my first participation in such an important tournament and I didn’t even realize what I was doing: I won the first set in the last qualifying round, I stumbled a little. Then, thanks to the many interruptions due to rain, I found myself returning to the court after the tie-breaker of one of the Grand Slam draws, which I always saw on TV and that’s it, and it left me with a bitter aftertaste. My mouth is about how it ended but I also have memories of great satisfaction because I gave my best, 100% of what I could give, and that makes me proud.”.
Was the next generation the added value of Italian tennis? “This year, born in 2002 and 2003, we had the best season of our careers, because we are friends and we encourage each other. The beautiful thing is that there is no kind of negative influence between us, rather every undertaking one makes is a source of motivation for others.” “To be able to do as well, or rather better. That was a plus this year between us. I have a great relationship with Luca Nardi because we’ve known each other since we were really young and the first time we played together we were eleven, But I have to be honest with everyone, there is a good bond and the fact that we train and meet in Tirrenia with technicians Claudio Gallopini, Moses Navarra and Gabrielo Castrichella. With the constant work we’re doing, we’re able to improve and I’ve had the opportunity to train with him as well Matthew Berettini who also gave me several tips.”.
In watching Francesco play, it is the backhand and backhand that are most impressive. Is your backhand the natural shot you need to improve? “In recent months we have continued to improve our forehand, a shot that should make the difference – concludes Maestrelli – the height, without a doubt, helps me a lot with my serve but I have to develop a more accurate and effective second.. Destination Australia, to conquer a place in the sun.
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