Bonadio's second life, from the final with Alcaraz to the Wimbledon dream

Riccardo and Carlos had met in Trieste two years ago. Now the Spaniard is No. 7, the Italian top 200. But with Livraghi’s new technical guide he is ready to recover

There are phenomena, like Carlos Alcaraz, and good players, like Riccardo Bonadio. Sometimes their paths cross for a moment and then run parallel to each other. It is the law of sport, a law that is even tougher in tennis because the competition is very high and everyone plays really well. Alcaraz and Bonadio met on 30 August 2020 in Trieste: for both it was the first final at Challenger level. The Spaniard won, who climbed to number 220 Atp: it was his best ranking, now he is 7th in the world. Even Bonadio that day took off the whim of getting where he had never been: top 300, number 292 to be precise.

Last Sunday Riccardo played his second Challenger final in Bratislava, losing to Shevchenko (who rose from 237 to 176 Atp) after winning three out of four matches in the third set, and moved the bar even higher: number 200 round and round, Italian seventeenth in the ranking, but even eighth in the 2022 Race behind Sinner, Berrettini, Musetti, Sonego, Fognini, Nardi and Cobolli. Bonadio, who will turn 29 in a month, is experiencing the best moment of his career: a few weeks ago he made his Grand Slam debut with the Roland Garros qualifiers and in a few days he will go to London for the Wimbledon qualifiers. Participation in the US Open is also safe.

In February 2020, the Gazzetta told the story of Bonadio, number 405 Atp at the time, taking him as an example of the large group of tennis players who, despite playing at a high level, struggle to make ends meet. The tennis jungle involves those who fail to permanently enter the Grand Slam qualifiers, therefore from the number 240-250 downwards. And it is a world made up of sacrifices, attention to expenses, careful planning. In two and a half years Bonadio has gnawed over 200 positions and he succeeded with exceptional teamwork.

The turning point in Pavia

The turning point was the decision to move to Pavia. Riccardo, born in San Vito al Tagliamento, in 2019 he trained in Alicante with Manuel Jorquera, but at the beginning of 2020 he moved to Motonautica Pavia from Mattia Livraghi, former 500 Atp and in the past coach of Simone Vagnozzi, then in turn leads by Marco Cecchinato in the overbearing climb of 2018 and now Jannik Sinner’s coach. How small the world is, even that of tennis at times. Livraghi has expanded Bonadio’s technical background and has also entered his head, removing the fears that had conditioned him a little in the past. In Pavia Riccardo is followed by the athletic trainer Alessio Firullo, who has also been working with Fabio Fognini for a few months, and Uros Vico (formerly 160 Atp) is also on the staff who alternates in the Bonadio corner on the circuit with other technical collaborators who they are growing at the Motorboat. Livraghi, in fact, has created an enlarged and reliable staff (in which a psychologist has also joined for some time), so he can train the professionals in the morning by dedicating himself to the over 100 SAT guys in the afternoon: Livraghi follows Bonadio at the tournaments. only occasionally, but the results prove this management right. Everything is studied and planned, nothing is left to chance: a painstaking work that, step by step, has brought excellent results. “It was a long and difficult path – says Livraghi -: we did a great job waiting for the right answers from the pitch to arrive sooner or later. With Riccardo we faced every aspect of the game: technical, tactical and motivational. It was difficult to get him to pass. the message that the things proposed were possible and not impossible both on a technical and personal level “.

More aggressive

Coach Mattia taught Bonadio to be more aggressive in his response, to play the longline both forehand and backhand more often (which is his favorite shot, one-handed) and changed his attitude in managing the serve (when to choose the kick, for example, or when to try the ace): “The entry into the Paris qualifiers – explains Livraghi – represented for Riccardo a moment of personal fulfillment, which will allow him to experience tennis in a more serene way, thus guaranteeing him more carefree and a little more aggression “. From now to the end of 2022 Bonadio has only 99 points to defend and therefore can focus on his game and on his next goals: the consolidation of his position in the standings (making the Slam qualifiers permanently gives a great hand from an economic point of view), conviction that you can win some matches even on the fast outdoor and not just on the beloved clay, the landing in Australia for the Grand Slam that will open in 2023. But in reality the real goal is only one: to get as high as possible. How high, nobody knows. And in the end it now counts up to a certain point.

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