Nick Kyrgjos has jumped into another war of words after Italian tennis legend Nicola Petrangeli took a verbal shot at what he considers the playboy lifestyle of countryman Matteo Berrettini.
The 2021 Wimbledon finalist who suffered through part of last season with an abdominal and leg injury, has been living up to his reputation as an Italian stallion.
He’s been spotted by the national gossip press with TV showgirl Melissa Satta, a decade older than the 27-year-old.
Petrangeli, 89, is revered as a national tennis pioneer; he won Roland Garros in 1959 and 1969 and today serves as a figurehead of the Italian courts.
The icon lashed out at Berrettini, comparing the promising Roman’s career to that of Filippo Volandri, who defeated Roger Federer at Rome, 2007 but faded back into an ATP journeyman.
“It seems to me that Matteo is devoting himself more to advertising than to tennis,” Petrangeli said to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I wouldn’t like him to end up like Volandri, who after beating Federer in Rome, didn’t do anything again.
“He’s a good guy, he reminds me a bit of (Italian 1976 RG winner Adriano) Pannatta. Very handsome from the waist up, but his legs don’t move as they should.”
Kyrgjos quickly fired a critical comment, making sure to drop German-speaking Italian Jannik Sinner, ranked 14th, straight into it.
“Isn’t choosing your priorities your choice? I can assure you that making a lot more bank than Sinner off the court and for some of us money is important,” eh Australian posted.
So far the 23rd-ranked Berrettini has steered well clear of the controversy Kyrgios seems to be trying to ignite.
Main photo:-Matteo Berrettini working out in the gym during Australian Open 2022 by Scott Barbour/TENNIS AUSTRALIA