News & Press

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The last salute to Federico Luzzi

A great crowd and a lot of commotion for the last salute to Federico Luzzi, the ill-fated player of Davis Cups crushed saturday at the age of only 28 years by a form of fulminating leukaemia and pneumonia. At Dome of Arezzo, the city where Federico was born, have been celebrated the funerals yesterday afternoon, all strait around the Luzzi family: to the mother Paola , Maurizio the father and Francesca the sister in this moment of immense pain for a premature and thus unexpected loss. To represent the Italian Federation Tennis there was the President Binaghi Angelo, vicario vice-president Alfredo Bartolini, Sergio Palmieri and the captain of Davis Cup Corrado Barazzutti, who had trained Luzzi in his first years in the circuit. The many companions of thousand battles in Davis and tournaments : among those Daniel Bracciali, Potito Starace, Filippo Volandri, Georgio Galimberti, Alessio Di Mauro, Vincenzo Santopadre, Davide Sanguinetti, Paolo Canè. And still Flavia Pennetta, Fabio Fognini, Gianluca Naso, Thomas Fabbiano, Andrea Gaudenzi. There were also Renzo Furlan, production manager of the Federal Center of Tirrenia, the coaches Umberto Rianna and Edoardo Infantino, a delegation of the Tc Parioli for which Luzzi had played the championship of A1 Series in the last three years:the last match eight days ago when in Olbia he withdrawn after hardly a fifteen against Tomas Tenconi of the Geovillage. Present the provincial president of the Cones George Cerbai, the representatives of all the tennis circles of Arezzo and of the other aretine sport federations , besides the representatives of Tuscany regional Committee of the Fit: the president Guido Turi, the vicario vice president Adrian Bandini and the vice president Sauro Dani. To the sides of the coffin there were at one side an enormous tennis raquet of flowers, from the other the banners of the Tc Parioli and the Municipality of Arezzo represented by the mayor Giuseppe Fanfani. The public square around the Dome and the church were crowded by hundreds of persons: the relatives, many friends, but also simple passionate of tennis who wanted to be there to give the extreme salute to a boy who all remember as full of life, of the sunny character and the contagious sympathy. A boy who had made himself to be loved since he moved the first steps in the juniores, till the entrance in the greater circuit and to the debut in Davis Cup as protagonist with the blue mesh in 2001. The ceremony has been officiated by the Vicario of the Bishop of Arezzo, Don Alvaro Bardelli. “Upon Arezzo and tennis it has come down a sadness cloud - he said - we will always remember Federico, he has carried the name of Arezzo around the world. He has been born with the raquet in the hand and he has left us with the raquet in the hand. We will miss his `luzzate', but we must celebrate life and not cry his death”. It has been also read a letter written from the companions with whom he had shared the career and he had been trained for years, from Bracciali to Starace. “Hello Federico - it recited - we are sure that you are already 'above' playing tennis with Saint Peter,wearing him out of short balls… of you we will remember the simplicity, the spontaneity and the sympathy… we will make you live again every day in our heart and when we will be sat around a table your place always will be occupied”. The chorus “Federico, Federico…” and a long, longest applause, has then greeted the exit of the coffin from the Dome towards the monumental cemetary, where Luzzi has been buried. Federico has left us, but from above he will continue to watch us. Smiling, as he always did in field and outside.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

ATP Pro Federico Luzzi Passes Away

Italian ATP pro Federico Luzzi died Saturday morning in a Florence, Italy hospital. The 28-year-old went to a hospital for an illness earlier this week and was discovered with a accute case of leukemia. He went into an irreversible coma Saturday morning, and passed away soon after.

ATP Chairman Etienne de Villiers said, "Losing a young man so tragically in the prime of his life , a son to a loving family and a great sportsman is a terrible blow. Federico was hugely respected by his fellow professionals and was one of the most popular players on the ATP Tour. Federico will be much missed by all who knew him and the thoughts and the prayers of everyone at the ATP are with Federico's family on this very sad day for tennis.

Luzzi, a native of Arezzo, Italy, turned pro in 1998 and he compiled his best season in 2001 when he finished with a year-end high No. 96. That year he reached the quarterfinals in Barcelona, his best ATP result, and won two Challenger titles. He also made his Davis Cup debut.

This year Luzzi attempted to qualify in three ATP level tournaments and he competed in six Challengers, playing his last event in Todi, Italy last month.

He is survived by his father, Maurizio; mother, Paola; and older sister, Francesca.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Benjamin Becker upsets ATP's #12 Stanislas Wawrinka in Switzerland

BASEL, Switzerland -- Fifth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka was upset by German qualifier Benjamin Becker 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) in the first round of the Swiss Indoors on Monday.

Wawrinka served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but Becker broke with two straight forehand winners. The 137th-ranked German saved two match points when serving at 5-6 and soon won with a backhand winner.

The loss damaged Wawrinka's chances of qualifying for next month's Masters Cup in Shanghai. The 23-year-old Swiss is 11th in the standings, and only the top eight qualify.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kamil Capkovic wins Future event 15+H in Nigeria

RTM's Kamil Capkovic from Slovakia beats #5 seed Ilya Belyaev from Russia 6-2,6-3 winning the title of the Oceanic Bank Governor's Cup in Lagos, Nigeria. Kamil did not lose a set during this successful week playing in Africa, and with the title he will add 24 points to his ATP singles ranking. Next week he stays in Nigeria and plays another Future event.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pennetta stuns #1 in the world Jankovic in Zurich

ZURICH, Oct 16 - Jelena Jankovic's bid for a fourth straight title ended when the world number one lost 5-7 6-3 6-3 to unseeded Italian Flavia Pennetta in the Zurich Open second round.

The Serb was playing her opening match of the week after receiving a first-round bye but showed little sign of having benefited from her brief rest since winning in Moscow.

Jankovic took the first set with two breaks of serve against one dropped service game of her own but appeared to be unsettled by a painful-looking fall in the 12th game.

She received treatment for a cut on her knee after dropping serve again early in the second set only to fall further behind when Pennetta hit a return winner to go 4-1 up.

Jankovic broke back but continued to look out of sorts, saving one break point at 4-2 before suffering a further break at 5-3.

The third set was evenly balanced with the first seven games going to serve before Pennetta grabbed the decisive break with a backhand winner down the line.

The Italian world number 17, who had lost all five of her previous meetings with Jankovic including last week's Moscow quarter-finals, kept her nerve to serve out the match as she finished off with an ace.

"I don't think I played that differently to when I lost to her last week," said Pennetta.

"When you're playing such a good player you have to take some risks. Sometimes you get the luck and sometimes you don't. I tried to match her style of play and I think that confused her a little."

In the previous round, Flavia beat WTA #13 Nadia Petrova 6-1,6-1; and last week in Moscow had a solid win against USA's Venus Williams 6-4,2-6,6-4.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Paes-Dlouhy a win away from back-to-back titles

Tokyo:India's Leander Paes and Czech Lukas Dlouhy outlasted American Robert Kendrick and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-4, 7-6(4) in the AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships here Saturday and they are now one win away from back-to-back Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) titles.

The top seeded Indo-Czech pair, who didn't face a single break point, but muffed eight in the two sets, have a 24-6 record for the season.

Paes and Dlouhy play in the final Russian Mikhail Youzhny and Mischa Zverev of Germany who beat third seeds Jordan Kerr and Robert Lindstedt 6-2, 4-6, 10-8.

The pair, which won the Bangkok Open title last week, is now on a seven match winning streak. This will be their fourth final appearance as a team.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Paes-Dlouhy in second round of Japan Open

Tokyo, Oct 2 (IANS) India’s Leander Paes and Czech Lukas Dlouhy defeated Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Ivan Navarro 6-4, 7-5 to move into the second round of the AIG Japan Open here Thursday.Top seeded Paes and Dlouhy, who won the Thailand Open last week, won five of the eight break points to romp home in an hour and 13 minutes.

However, India’s Rohan Bopanna and American Eric Butorac went down 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 4-10 to second seeded Simon Aspelin and Julian Knowle.