Back in April, when much of the world was under strict lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a couple of Italian girls came up with an ingenious way to play their beloved sport. They took to the roofs of their respective buildings and started playing a game of tennis against each other.
The video of the two girls playing cross-roof tennis - which was even shared by ATP - took the world by storm; to this day it continues to be a representation of hope, and a reminder of the value of small joys during a crisis. And now, Roger Federer himself has landed in Liguaria, the Italian region where the girls played their remarkable game of tennis, to shoot a commercial alongside the duo.
This is the latest in a long line of off-court activities being pursued by Roger Federer during the coronavirus-enforced break from tennis. The Swiss recently launched his own brand of shoes called 'The Roger', in collaboration with ‘On Running’.
A couple of days ago Federer was also spotted filming for a car commercial near the Italian-Swiss border. During an interaction there, he revealed that he expects to get back to full fitness latest by January.
Rewinding back to Italy in April, Vittoria Oliveri aged 14 and Carola Pessina, 11, were looking for a way to keep practising tennis after their club was shut down due to the pandemic. The two upcoming tennis players were unable to leave their homes for even a short round of tennis, and so had to come up with an innovative solution.
“It was their idea,” said their coach, Dionisio Poggi. “They know each other well, they’re friends, and they live in neighboring buildings.”
Roger Federer joins the girls in a round of roof-top tennis
Oliveri and Pessina were also inspired in part by a video of Roger Federer practicing (or showing off!) his hand eye co-ordination, where he was seen hitting a ball repeatedly against a wall.
The Swiss had posted the video to his Instagram handle on 7 April, asking others to try their hand at the exercise too.
Now, as the celebrated Swiss finds himself in Liguria to shoot a pasta commercial, his co-stars will be none other than Oliveri and Pessina. A few pictures of the Swiss maestro wielding his racquet on a rooftop have emerged too:
Most in the tennis community would agree that this is a wonderful gesture towards the budding players, from both the pasta company and Roger Federer. It will be interesting to see how the final video of the commercial looks, whenever it is released.Published 11 Jul 2020, 02:24 IST