“I’m devastated, never thought I’d have to give up the most important tennis event ever held in Italy like this. The truth is that as much as I wanted to play in front of you one more time, I felt and therefore decided that my body is not ready to face the challenges I face.”
The Italian admitted he felt “robbed” after being forced to withdraw from the prestigious season-ending event in its first year in Turin.
He continued: “Saying I’m sad wouldn’t do justice to the mood I’m in, I feel robbed of something I’ve conquered with years of effort and sweat.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but I’m convinced it’s the best for me and my career. Thank you for your continued support and the thousands of messages you sent me, you made me emotional.”
Luckily for the Italian crowd, the first alternate is Berrettini’s compatriot, 20-year-old Jannik Sinner.
The world No 11 will step in and face Hurkacz in the evening session, before taking on Daniil Medvedev on Friday (November 19).
Medvedev himself has now qualified for the semi-finals off the back of the 25-year-old’s withdrawal.