A couple of weeks ago the Swiss World No. 4 Roger Federer visited the Italian town of Liguria to shoot a commercial with two young girls. The young girls in question were Vittoria Oliveri (13) and Carola Pessina (11), but many would know them better as the roof-top tennis girls.
Yesterday, the pasta brand Barilla released a video to celebrate and showcase the overall experience of the young girls when they met and filmed with Roger Federer.
‘If I were to meet him, I would jump on him’ - Vittoria Oliveri on Roger Federer
The two budding tennis players Vittoria and Carola can be seen discussing Roger Federer at the start of the video, with the Swiss listening from a backstage area. The girls had no idea that the interview would feature the Swiss, let alone that he was standing a few feet away from them.
Vittoria is the bigger Federer fan out of the two, and she explained her love for the Swiss by saying:
“My favourite tennis player is Federer because I like how he’s on the court. He is always concentrated. If I were to meet him, I would jump on him. Or I would be starstruck.”
Roger Federer was able to hear everything the girls are speaking, but chose to wait for the right moment to surprise them. Vittoria and Carola then went on to discuss what qualities they’d like to imbibe from their favorite players.
Their conversation soon turned into a Federer-Nadal discussion:
Vittoria: “If I had to take one of Roger’s best shots, I would take his backhand.”
Carola: “I would like to have Federer’s elegance while playing and Nadal’s power.”
Vittoria: “But Nadal and Federer are enemies though.”
Carola: “Yes but they have a friendship too. Every time they have played against each other.”
The 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer made his entrance at that opportune moment, leaving both the girls in a state of total shock and frenzy. The Swiss maestro invited them over for a game of rooftop tennis and also let them record their own video of the experience.
The duo took out their racquets and began trading cross-roof hits with the Swiss, but not before exclaiming in absolute delight:
“We cannot believe it. Federer is on our rooftop. He is playing tennis with us. It’s incredible, I’m going to faint. Grandma! Federer is on our roof. The champion!”
That was a very special moment in my career: Roger Federer
After the girls finished their roof-top tennis session with Roger Federer, they had lunch with the Swiss star. Needless to say it was pasta, which was provided by Federer’s sponsor Barilla.
Over the course of his 22-year-long career, Roger Federer has celebrated and witnessed several special moments. The Swiss, however, was seemingly quite moved by this experience as he said:
“Personally for me, that was a very special moment in my career as a tennis player, to surprise a fan, or children. Like I was able to with Carola and Vittoria today.”
This is the second instance in the space of a few weeks that Roger Federer has surprised a fan of his. A few days ago he surprised another fan - a Swiss hospital nurse - who had served during the pandemic.
But the rooftop experience still takes the cake, as Roger Federer himself summed up:
“It was great. I have played in many cool places around the world, but this is definitely up there for me, as a special experience. We showed that we can play anywhere and have fun with it. So I had the best time honestly.”
After the shooting of the video, Federer and Barilla had another surprise for the girls. The girls had shown their love for tennis back in April when they first played a roof-top rally. Carola and Vittoria had nowhere to play due to the strict quarantine rules, and so were forced to trade hits on their respective roofs.
Their dedication towards the sport seems to have greatly impressed Roger Federer, as he announced a special gift for them in connection with his rival and friend Rafael Nadal.
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“Ciao Carola and Vittoria, it’s Roger here. The surprises are not over yet. I happen to know a really good summer camp that would be perfect for you two girls. I’ve spoken to the Rafa Nadal Academy and Barilla and I would like to send you there. So why don’t you start packing?”