Boom time for Berrettini as Becker offers advice
Italy's Matteo Berrettini returns against Argentina's Guido Pella during their men's singles first round match on the third day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships.
The amiable Italian said it was an honour to be compared to the German but perhaps wide of the mark.
The German had by the age of 25 won five of the six Grand Slam singles titles -- Berrettini's best showing so far is a semi-final spot at the 2019 US Open.
"I mean, of course it feels great to being told that," he said after moving into the second round having beaten Argentinian Guido Pella 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.
"At the same time I know that I did not achieve maybe a quarter of what he achieved in his career.
"Of course it feels nice to hear my name close to him."
Berrettini, though, said meeting him by chance had been an awesome moment.
"I think the best part was that I met him as soon as I got here (Wimbledon).
"He was walking by. He stopped. I was surprised because he knew who I was. He made me feel good.
"He told me like, Well done. Now we have something in common. I was like, Okay. So he knew."
"I was like, Yeah, I wish I have everything in common, like all the titles and stuff.
"I'll try to get there. He also told me I had to keep my mind clear to have a long run here. I'll try to do that."
Seeded 17 he reached the fourth round only to be routed by eight-time champion Roger Federer in just 74 minutes.
"Thanks for the tennis lesson, how much do I owe you?" he quipped to the Swiss legend.
"I mean, pressure and these kind of things I think it's a privilege in a way," he said of the comparison.
"If someone told me a few years ago, 'Look, they're going to compare your name to Becker', I would be, I don't know, I would feel great.
"It feels great. I know now I step in the court and people around me in general, they expect me to win. I expect myself to win."
The next man to challenge the seventh seed's expectation of victory will be Dutch lucky loser Botic van de Zandschulp.