From Pietrangeli to Sinner: here are all the slams won by Italian tennis players


By John

From Nicola Pietrangeli to Jannik Sinnerpassing through Adriano Panattaand the pompous feminine ones of Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta. 48 years after the last men’s slam won by an Italian (Panatta in 1976 in Paris) comes the one by the South Tyrolean who won the Australian Open in five sets, in a comeback, against Daniil Medvedev, embellishing the haul of victories of Italian tennis in the grand slam tournaments. The first to put the tricolor seal was Pietrangeli, at Roland Garros in 1959, repeating himself the following year again in the Parisian tournament, where Giorgio De Stefani had come close to glory many years before, in 1932, beaten in the final by the idol of the Henri Cochet house. Pietrangeli, however, achieved his goal in the first final, beating the South African Ian Vermaak in four sets. Instead, he needed five, the following year, to beat the Chilean Luis Ayala, with a 6-3 in the decisive match. In those years, the blue king of clay was considered the number 3 in the world by journalist Lance Tingay. Further years had to pass, 16, before the baton of success, again in Paris, was picked up by Adriano Panatta, who in 1976 beat the American Solomon in four sets, also eliminating Bjorn Borg along the way to the final. In the women’s singles, Italy experienced the most unforgettable day at Slam level: the first all-Italian final at the 2015 US Open, won by Flavia Pennetta in two sets over Roberta Vinci, but in history the first Italian women’s Slam was won in 2010 by Francesca Schiavone, obviously at Roland Garros, over the Australian Samantha Stosur. But doubles players also put their signature on the ‘Azzurrì’ slams: Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini triumphed at the 2015 Australian Open, beating the French pair Herbert-Mahut in two sets. Before that success, there had only been one title for Italy in the men’s doubles majors, the 1959 Roland Garros by Nicola Pietrangeli and Orlando Sirola, who beat the Australians Emerson and Fraser in three sets, with a remarkable 14-12 in that decisive.