Vittoria Olivieri and Carola Pessina, have become heroines of the Italian lockdown after their rooftop tennis became the talk of the world.
Vittoria and Carola, respectively born in 2006 and 2009, gave an unexpected show to all sports and tennis fans. They were stars of a video that became “viral“ in a very short time. The two girls, born and raised in Finale Ligure, in the western Ligurian Riviera, are friends and live close by to each other.
The girls managed a 12-shot rally featuring forehands and backhands on their rooftops. One of the girl’s father captured the footage because her coach Dionisio Poggi asked the players to share a video of their training at home.
Nothing could be easier, take advantage of being close to home, and use the two condominium terraces as half of the pitch, staging a match in a very particular venue.
The distance is about 25 meters, more or less that of a regular playing field (23.77 meters to be precise) and then straight and backwards.
Here Vittoria and Carola found themselves catapulted into a world they could not have imagined. Their video, published on the Tennis Club Finale (a club for which they play), received huge praise. “These girls are fantastic!“ wrote the legendary former Czech player.
Even ATP tour’s official twitter handle wrote, ”Just incredible to see”
But how did the idea of the match on the roof of the house come about?
“Up there, usually, we make barbecues with the family”, said Vittoria in an interview with Corriere Della Sera.
“One day, during the quarantine, my dad had an idea. But if you and your friend Carola (who is actually more friends than my brother but I meet her at tennis and in any case we are neighbors and I go there agreement) did you challenge yourself from one building to another.?” Vittoria added.
Playing and dining with the great Roger Federer
Fast forward a couple of weeks, the two young have become protagonists of two other videos, destined to be seen by an equally large audience.
The Barilla commercial that the two very young tennis players made a few weeks ago with the Swiss legend Roger Federer was released as “game of tennis on the roofs” together with Vittoria and Carola.
The video begins with a sort of candid-camera: the producers asked them to tell how the idea of organizing this game remotely was born and to confess who their favorite player is. Having ascertained it was (thankfully) Federer, here comes the surprise: the Swiss champion joined the two girls who, visibly excited, played with him from one roof to the other.
Federer admits that he greatly appreciated the high altitude game played with the Finale hills in the background, which is now famous and known to all lovers of outdoor sports.
After a few balls inadvertently ended up on the street (and even “into the car”, as specified by Federer) and autographs and selfies of obligation, nothing better than a plate of pasta (Barilla) to recover some of the lost energy, and so the video continues.
Federer also confessed that, “it is always a very special moment in my tennis career to surprise a fan or a child. As I have done with Carola and Vittoria. It was great. I have played in many fantastic places around the world, but this has been a very special experience. We have shown that you can play and have fun anywhere. I really had a lot of fun.”
Once the clip ended, there was another surprise waiting for the girls. Federer and Barilla gave the girls two places at the Rafael Nadal Acadamy summer camp. An experience that will bring them into close contact with the other great champion of our generation.
Featuring in a Nike campaign video
They also made it onto a Nike video which made them a part of their new campaign “You can’t stop us”. The campaign shows how nothing (not even a world epidemic) can stop sports lovers and their fans.