Atp Master 1000 Rome, Napolitano flies to the third round: “I wanted to quit, now I'm dreaming”


By John

«I would like to give a message of hope to kids who are not phenomena at 18. If I had had to respect the rules and deadlines that prevail today I should have stopped long ago. I've been on the verge of doing this many times. And yet here I am, at 29 years old still trying to give the best of me”. Stefano Napolitano from Biella is the third Italian (after Darderi and Passaro) with the comeback victory over Shang (6/7-6/1-6/0) to reach the third round of the Italian Internazionali (Luca Nardi tries tonight against Rune). It's true that you had a bit of luck, enjoying the wild card freed by Berrettini and then meeting two lucky losers for the forfeits of Berrettini himself and Humbert. A collection of four-leaf clovers more than deserved after the series of misfortunes that have plagued her career, with a series of injuries: two hernias in the back, a knee injury, and then, during the pandemic period, the elbow operation right.

Moved on the sidelines in the post-match interview (“I have dreamed of this moment many times to give myself a bit of strength and not give up. I had never reached this point in Rome” he said, covering his eyes with his hands), in press conference he told how he managed to get back on his feet (last season he was number 555 in the ranking, today he is 125, a position that will improve after the Internationals) by working on himself and holding on to what he had, also giving up due to the coach's limited budget : «I tried to bring out everything I had inside and I still didn't give everything». Now after ending the collaboration with Giacomo Oradini I'm looking for a person to rely on. But some time ago I couldn't afford it: when you go to play the Futures (l last year at this time it was in Monastir) win or lose and I could no longer pay the coach and physiotherapist”.

Between Monastir and today there was the arrival at Magnitudo Training in Verona. Very promising in his early days (he was in the brood of Quinzi and Matteo Donati, who in the meantime have stopped and he distances himself from comparisons: «I don't connect with their paths. I live my own, I don't know if I'm the survivor of our generation”), due injuries and some bad choices he had to put on the handbrake, But, he reflects “maybe you lose years of tennis but you use them to become a better person than before”. He has also used them to read a lot these years: his guide book is ' The biology of beliefs by Bruce H Lipton – how thought influences DNA and every cell has evidently helped make today's dream come true: «During Covid, when I was rehabilitating my elbow, I said I wanted to play again. on the Pietrangeli field.” And so it was. Now Napolitano will face Jarry, who eliminated Arnaldi today. And it would be nice for his dream Forum to continue.