The story of Luca Vanni impressed us with its determination, resilience and inner growth. A story worthy of NBS Stories.

The story of Luca Vanni impressed us with its determination, resilience and inner growth. A story worthy of NBS Stories.

Lucawas born in Arezzo in 1985 and spent his youth in Foiano della Chiana.

Sport was in his family, but unlike his father and uncles who were known for their volleyball skills, Luca fell madly in love with tennis.

Passion and sacrifice for tennis

He learns from an early age what the word sacrifice means: from the age of 9 he has to spend a lot of time travelling to train.

“I left school at 1.30 p.m., at 1.40 p.m. I had the bus for Arezzo, at 2.30 p.m. my coach came to pick me up at the bus stop to take me to the clubhouse, where I trained until 4.30 p.m.

After taking care of the athletic part, I would either find a ride or make the trip back. I lived like this for five years. I often blamed my parents because they didn’t allow me to go to public school, but now that I think back on it, I think it all helped to give me the drive I needed to reach my goal!”

After high school things didn’t get any easier.
He trained in Perugia, broke his meniscus and the economic factor, as he had no sponsors to support him, weighed heavily on his family’s morale.
So the dream of tennis was shelved, and he continued to play as an amateur.

The sporting turn

Then one day everything changes.

Persuaded by a friend, he played an international in Cesena and within 3 months won his first international tournament, qualified for the Challenger and became No. 600 in the world.

He found sponsors and returned to play professionally until the age of 28, when a serious patellar tendon injury forced him to sit out for six months.

This forced stop triggers something in him and he clings to his childhood dream without letting go of it for a moment.

Life as a tennis pro

After a number of ups and downs, Luca prepared superbly and in one year went from world no. 800 to no. 150. 150.

In 2015, at the age of 30, he finally crowned his dream and entered the top 100 tennis players in the world.

“For five years I lived the life of a true professional: I travelled around the world performing on the most important courts and I took some satisfaction from the fruits of my labour. I don’t know what triggered me between the ages of 28 and 30, but even after the defeats, my attitude was always positive and confident and I thought about what I had to do to improve, never about the negative things. My desire to learn helped me a lot in tennis, I was never satisfied. The injury probably made me realise that I only had this last chance to redeem myself and realise my dream!”

From professional to coach

In December 2021 Luca retired from the scene and became the coach of a promising young man of our acquaintance, Andrea Pellegrino.

“I would like to pass on some of my experience to him to avoid certain mistakes that I made, but I realise that everyone has to make their own path and Andrea will certainly make other mistakes that will make him grow.”

Luca, like so many of the characters in our NBS Stories, is an example of how important willpower, commitment and perseverance in sport and in life are to achieving one’s goals and that age is just an excuse not to try, only if you don’t really believe in it.

And when asked if he really has hung up his racket, he replies: “I’d start again tomorrow!”
Who knows if he still has new chapters to write.

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