October 24-31, SIBUR ARENA #tennisagainstcoronavirus

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The adventures of Italians in the Hermitage

Matteo Berrettini with his team and young countryman Jannik Sinner visited the Museum of Hermitage.


Excursions to Hermitage are a traditional elegant present from St. Petersburg Open organizers to the participants of the tournament. This year number three seed Matteo Berrettini had his chance to visit the famous museum. The Italian took the whole team along – his manager, his fitness trainer and his physio. The youngest player of the St. Petersburg Open draw, Jannil Sinner, joined fellow Italians. The 18-year old player lost to Michael Kukushkin in the first round the day before, but he didn’t look in the museum as upset as right after the match. He made a lot of selfies at the Dvortsovaya square which the players had to cross because of traffic jams in the city, and listened to their guide with big attention.

It was she who told the trippers that in the first years when The Hermitage was open there was a strict dress-code in the museum – trail-coats for gentlemen and nigh gowns  for ladies.

“Like us!” – joked Berrettini. He was to practice after the excursion and that’s why he came to museum in joggers and sweatshirt. The tall brunet stood out among the other visitors of the museum, mostly elderly Europeans. “The big man is here” – they whispered. One group asked Matteo for a photo in front of one of the pictures. He duly obliged.

At the beginning the sightseers familiarized themselves with the art of Italian masters. Berrettini walked around the Michelangelo’s sculpture “The Crouching Boy”. The tennis players pictured paintings on their phones and discussed everything actively. The painting of Antonio Canaletto (master of Venetian school) “The Reception of the French Ambassador in Venice| attracted the most attention of the Italian guests.  At the suggestion of the guide the visitors walked along the picture to see the different images from different points of view. Everyone was impressed.

From the Italian hall guests moved into the halls of Spanish and Dutch arts. Later the Italians could see the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci. There were a lot of other visitors in that hall, but Berrettinin and his team decided to make a group selfie with “Madonna Litta” in the background. With Berretini’s an arm span it was not a problem at all.

While tennis players were moving from one hall to another they heard a strange and loud sound. The looked at each other anxiously. “It’s the canon in the Peter and Paul Fortress”, the guide explained. “Oh, yeah, it’s twelve o’clock already”, – they said. The excursion came to an end soon. Berrettini still had stuff to do at the tournament. After the US Open semifinal the Italian has a chance to qualify for the ATP Finals. But he needs to score as many points as possible in St. Petersburg. That’s why, inspired by the art, he jumped into the car and left for SIBUR-ARENA.

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