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Berrettini pulls out of French Open, targets return on grass

BNP Paribas Open - Day 10

INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 16: Matteo Berrettini of Italy plays a backhand in his match against Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia during the BNP Parisbas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 16, 2022 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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PARIS - Eighth-ranked Matteo Berrettini withdrew from the upcoming French Open as he continues his recovery from surgery on his right hand.

The Italian announced in late March that he was having minor surgery. He wrote on Instagram that he’s making good progress but not quite ready to return yet.

“My hand is feeling great and I am working hard to build up my match fitness,” he wrote. “My team and I have made the decision that going straight back into 5 set matches on clay at Roland Garros would not be sensible, therefore I will delay my comeback to compete in the full grass season.”

The French Open starts on May 22.

Berrettini reached the quarterfinals last year at Roland Garros, losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in four sets. He then lost to Djokovic in four sets in the Wimbledon final.