Rising Italian star Matteo Arnaldi had a thrill practicing with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and he was impressed by the Serb's attitude.
Arnaldi, who awarded a widlcard into the Rome Masters, practiced with 20-time Grand Slam champion at Foro Italico.
“It was fantastic,” Arnaldi said, per Ruetir. “Novak has always been my idol and that’s why I entered the court a bit tense. It was an incredible feeling to be able to trade with the # 1 in the world. My coach took care of planning the session. He exchanged a few words with his trainer, (Italian Mario Panichi) and it turned out that he needed someone to warm up with. Needless to say, I jumped right in!
“Technically I found him extremely clean compared to the others I have played with up to now. His ball is very flat and you have a hard time playing with it, even on clay. It takes away your time, you can’t do anything you have in mind."
Matteo Arnaldi’s dream day: “An hour with Djokovic, that’s what he taught me”
“It was fantastic,” said the young man from Sanremo with dreamy eyes. “Novak has always been my idol and that’s why I entered the field a bit tense…"https://t.co/ipYGLpA1O0
— C Kristjánsdóttir ●🐊 (@CristinaNcl) May 10, 2022
Arnaldi: Great champions like Djokovic are humble
Arnaldi failed to register his first Rome win this year as former world No. 3 Marin Cilic proved too be too much for him.
However, playing Cilic in an ATP match and then practicing with Djokovic showed Arnaldi how big players approach the game and behave.
“After the first round played with Cilic and training with the world no.1 today, I realized that the difference with the greatest it’s in the level of tennis itself but in the way they act in the important moments. The mind and the management of one’s own tennis make the difference," Arnaldi explained.
"I realized that you have to be simple people and always remain humble. You have to be yourself and never get over your head to reach these levels, and stay there. I hope to be able to do it too in the future."
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