Roberta Vinci recounts her 2015 win against Serena Williams

Italy is one of the most affected countries by the COVID-19 pandemic, an additional reason for which its tennis celebrities have stood up in the past days to support the efforts towards finding a solution to the global crisis.

Jannik Sinner launched the #SinnePizzaChallenge, Fabio Fognini expressed his wish to buy surgical masks to supply senior citizen residences, and now Roberta Vinci has come forward with a message meant to help people live through these complicated times.

“The Corriere [della Sera] asked me to tell them about an event in my sporting history in hope that it can be supportive,” Vinci told her Twitter followers. “Without pretense in compare two situations that are so different, I hope that my experience can encourage us not to give up.”

Vinci – who has now been retired for two years – recounted her incredible semifinal win over Serena Williams, which, to her, means that hope should never be abandoned. “These days, in the ugly coronavirus emergency situation in which we find ourselves, I remembered the match I played with Serena Williams in New York in 2015,” the Italian told the Corriere.

“The day before, beating her seemed an impossible mission. Yet on the court, point after point, I convinced myself that I could do it. The point is: never give up, hold on, trust. In the face of the epidemic, we remain united, we respect the rules, we stay at home.

As I am speaking to you, I look out the window and see a guy running … I would go down and slap him! [I’d tell him:] ‘But where are you going? What example are you giving?’ That’s what we need, an example.

I like to think that I inspired at least one little girl, that day, on the central court at Flushing Meadows. The message that I hope has passed is: victory never comes by chance, to triumph you have to work hard. And with everyone’s sacrifice, we will beat the virus.”

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