Esclusiva: Samuel Vincent Ruggeri afferma che conta la capacità di ripetere l’exploit nel tempo, non solo l’impresa stessa

The first time we saw Samuel Vincent Ruggeri play was in 2022 at the $25,000 ITF tournament in Lesa, on Lake Maggiore, when he defeated the promising Lorenzo Beraldo, who was not even 16 years old at the time. Samuel impressed us with his elegant tennis woven with gestures that were as natural as they were beautiful to watch. We conducted a brief interview with him on the sidelines, and with his very British understatement, he expressed concern about his somewhat messy appearance.

The next day, he lost 6-2, 1-6, 6-0 to the unknown Danish player Johannes Ingildsen, who was struggling in the lower ranks of the rankings. In reality, he had a physical issue and played the third set just to honor the game, but he probably shouldn’t have even reached that point. That was the Samuel of 2022, who was accustomed to alternating highs and lows in search of the stability that would allow him to solidify his talent.

Stability began to show towards the end of the previous season when he had a moment of tennis omnipotence, with two consecutive victories at the ITF M15 in Sharm. It was a shame that the season was coming to an end, as Samuel himself also mentioned, but he was smart enough not to let the momentum fade. So, by New Year’s ’24, he was already playing in the qualifiers of the Challenger in Oeiras, Portugal. Indeed, Santa Claus had brought him a paradigm shift: no more ITF tournaments, but finally the Challengers, which had previously rejected him rather harshly: only three main draws in Trieste, Como, and Verona throughout his career.

But the new Samuel has undergone a profound change, and in just over three months, he has managed to surpass the qualifications nine times, which is quite an achievement. Before embarking on a new journey, once again at the Challenger in Oeiras, we intercepted him as he was leaving the gym after a day of hard work.

“Good morning, Samuel, first of all, congratulations on your recent performances.”

“Yeah, I’m happy with my recent results, but I tend to always raise the bar.”

“Your current goal is the ATP number 200, given that Bergamo, your city, has never had a player capable of surpassing that threshold. In the ’80s, we had Marcello Bassanelli, who reached number 207.”

“I know Bassanelli well; we actually traveled together in December when he accompanied Filiberto Fumagalli and Leonardo Borrelli. We talked about it, and I actually challenged him (laughs).”

“You grew up with Christian Merlato at the Vavassori Academy.”

“Not exactly, I started playing at the age of 4 with my father, Roberto, who coached me until I was 14 when the Federation took over with Christian. When I turned 18, my father started coaching me again.”

“How is your coaching relationship with your father?”

“Very good, we have a good relationship, and our collaboration works well.”

“You were born in 2002, the same year as Musetti and Cobolli, among others. Without making comparisons that don’t make sense, where are you in your journey? It seems like you’ve found that consistency in performance that you were lacking.”

“True, I have always worked step by step, climbing a bit to reach a higher level and then trying to consolidate it. It’s not about the one-time event but the ability to repeat it over time.”

The interview goes on with Samuel discussing his goals, improvements, challenges, and personal life, showcasing a driven young athlete aiming for success in the tennis world.