That 16-year-old boy who lost at the Bonfiglio-

From Alessio de Sauro

Milan, May 1997: the young tennis player of the Alberto Bonacusa Tennis Club lost to the Peruvian Rodolfo Raic. “As a young man he was different, his sportsmanship was impeccable, but he still lacked self-confidence”

There was a day, in 1993, when they asked Ayrton Senna who his strongest opponent was. Proust, Mansel or Schumacher? The reaction of the three-time Formula 1 world champion stunned everyone: “Terry Fullerton,” the Magic judged, thinking of that little-known Englishman who drove him crazy in his karting days, and who suffered the disgrace of one overtaking in the last round of the 1980 Jesolo Cup of Champions. Who knows what will answer this question? Roger FedererLooking forward to the twilight of an endless career. Maybe Nadal, maybe Djokovic, or maybe not.

Milan, May 1997: at the tennis club Alberto Bonacusa It’s the day of the quarter-finals of the Bonfiglio Cup, the junior version of the Internazionali d’Italia. To challenge 16-year-old Roger is Peruvian Rodolfo Raic. In the field of Ghisolfa Merciless score: 6-1, 6-4. But for the rake. Who knows if any of those present ever imagined their fate: one of them would become the “Master of 20 Peace” The other could have climbed up the ATP rankings without passing 356th place as a professional.

Young Federer – Not yet King Roger. He tried to avenge the setback the following year, but even on that occasion he had to raise the white flag. This time the station reached the second round: the outlet of the 1998 edition was the French Jerome Heinelwho in 2004 allegedly added Andre Agassi to his list of notable victims.

And who knows if the Swiss on that occasion did not live up to his favorite title, ”Dark FedererWhich alludes, as it is whispered, not only to funeral clothes but also to a Character is not always free from transgressions: «When he was young, Roger was completely different From what we learned later – recalls Martina Alabiso, director of the Milan Tennis Club –His sportsmanship was impeccable, but he still lacked the self-confidence that would have made him famous.”

The young Federer who looked like an old McEnroe? “Let’s say he broke his racket too hereAfter all it was understood that he was strong, if only he was. like him Strong: “After the victories, he was with Serena Williams the greatest icon of the sport – continues Albiso -. However, as a boy, on two occasions, he was able to challenge Uros Vico, our friend and then coach at the club, who reached the very honorable 166 position globally. Well, Roger lost twice.

Federer was to reconcile with the Lombard capital only on February 4, 2001, When he was in the Palalido in Piazza Stuparich, still far from the remodeling work, Julian Potter ruled to victory The first professional tennis tournament in a career will be followed by another 102. Bonfiglio, however, remained a taboo: that close to the Ghisolfa Pass may be an oasis of red earth where the only green flashes are those at the edge of the Liberty-style paths, depicted by Giovanni Musio who also signed the Catholic University and Milan Triennale. On the other hand, Federer always happily left the land dominance to Nadal, “contented” to become the master of turf, and with her at Wimbledon.

It must be said that he is in excellent company: The world’s elite tennis has passed through the courts of Via Arimunde, but few of them are the big names who have managed to grab a trophy that in 62 years of history has proven to be ruthless. Adriano Banata did it in 1971, and more recently Zverev and Tesepas did it Various Djokovic, Alp and Alcaraz couldn’t beat the central field. Elena Buffa de Pereiro, president of a club with a thousand members and 600 boys, including students from schools and cues, explains. And there is no substitute that says: “The magic of tennis is something else: do you want to put your dream into becoming the new sinner?” It’s still premature to think of a new Federer.

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Sep 17 2022 (change on Sep 17, 2022 | 11:41)