FRIENDSHIP GOALS! Roger Federer Thanks Good Friend Rafael Nadal and Barilla for Keeping up a ‘Roof Top’ Promise

Published 10/11/2021, 2:20 PM EDT
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: Roger Federer of Team Europe and teammate Rafael Nadal react as they sit down during a practice session ahead of the Laver Cup 2019 at Palexpo, on September 18, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. (The Laver Cup consists of six players from the rest of the World competing against their counterparts from Europe. John McEnroe will captain the Rest of the World team and Europe will be captained by Bjorn Borg) The event runs from 20-22 Sept. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Laver Cup)


Last year, due to the Coronavirus lockdown, large parts of normal life along with sports were interrupted. In the exceptional circumstances, a video of two young Italian girls playing tennis from their rooftops became immensely popular. The saga took a surprising turn when Barilla, an Italian multinational food corporation, managed to bring in Roger Federer to surprise the girls. They even managed to send the girls for summer camp at the Rafael Nadal Academy.

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Rooftop girls landed at Rafael Nadal Academy after Barilla commercial last year featuring Roger Federer

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The two girls, Carola and Vittoria, are currently at the Rafael Nadal Academy and even shared a photo with Nadal himself when he visited the campus recently.

It was an incredible gesture from both Federer and Nadal to give a memorable experience to both these kids. The Swiss Maestro himself responded to the selfie and wrote, “Mazie Grille” (Thank you in Italian) and tagged both Barilla and the Rafa Naval Academy.

Roger Federer was one of the chief guests present during the launch of Nadal’s academy in 2016. Both the players were recuperating from injuries and went on to make phenomenal comebacks the following year.

Coming to their performances this year, the Spaniard managed to reach the semi-finals of the French Open, where he lost to eventual champion, Novak Djokovic. After a brief appearance on the US hard-court season, Nadal called off the remainder of his season to recover from a foot injury.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC – SEPTEMBER 23: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal of Team Europe react during there doubles match against Jack Sock and Sam Querrey of Team World on Day 2 of the Laver Cup on September 23, 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic.

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Nadal and Federer preparing to make a strong comeback in 2022

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On the other hand, Federer, who played only a handful of matches, reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals and was defeated by Hubert Hurkacz. Immediately after the tournament, the Swiss Maestro announced his decision to undergo a third knee surgery.

While the Spaniard might hit the practice courts sooner or later, Federer’s rehab will take a long time owing to the surgery he underwent. Even though the Swiss Maestro didn’t reveal much regarding his comeback, he surprised fans by turning up unannounced at the Laver Cup this year.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 20: Rafael Nadal of Team Europe and teammate Roger Federer celebrate during the singles match between Stefanos Tsitsipas of Team Europe and Taylor Fritz of Team World during Day One of the Laver Cup 2019 at Palexpo on September 20, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.

With Novak Djokovic equaling Federer and Nadal’s record of 20 majors each, there is more excitement amongst tennis fans regarding the 2022 grand slam season as the fight for supremacy continues among the Big-3.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

473 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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