United Cup

Inked With A Lion, A Wolf & A Rose, Meligeni Alves' Motto: 'Never Give Up'

Learn more about the 24-year-old Brazilian
December 31, 2022
Felipe Meligeni Alves defeats Viktor Durasovic in Brisbane.
Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Felipe Meligeni Alves defeats Viktor Durasovic in Brisbane. By Andrew Eichenholz

During the US Open, former World No. 25 Fernando Meligeni wrote a philosophical Instagram post about the relationship between Carlos Alcaraz and his coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero. The first line read “No nos rendimos”, a Spanish phrase that means “Never give up”.

One person who took notice was his nephew, Felipe Meligeni Alves, who is a member of Team Brazil at the United Cup. The 24-year-old, who earned his first ATP Tour win on Saturday against Norwegian Viktor Durasovic, took the message to heart. He got the message tattooed on his left arm.

“I just like to motivate myself,” Meligeni Alves told “I just wanted to do it.”

That is far from the only tattoo the Brazilian has. He has a Portuguese message on his right arm that means, “You can’t have big dreams if you don’t chase them”.

That is what the No. 166 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings is doing. The Brazilian is trying to follow in his uncle’s footsteps and leave his mark on the ATP Tour. By the end of 2023, he would like to crack the Top 100.

Some might follow Meligeni Alves’ career through the lens of his uncle’s success — Meligeni reached the 1996 Olympic semi-finals. But the winner of one ATP Challenger Tour title is not concerned about that.

“When I started I was really young and me and my sister, people were saying, ‘He needs to play more like his uncle, he needs to do the same things that he did.’ I was like, ‘Okay, it’s my own path, I will do my own way.’ I just use this in the best way possible,” Meligeni Alves said. “Any time that I need him, he helps me, he talks to me.”

<a href=''>Felipe Meligeni Alves</a>
Photo Credit; Tennis Australia
The Brazilian added: “He’s just really good to me. He’s like an example for me, [for] all the players from Brazil. I just want to take the positive things, not the negative, like pressure.”

Meligeni Alves is a deep thinker who enjoys his uncle’s frequent social media posts. That led to the aforementioned tattoo, which is one of many.

The first tattoo he got, against his mother’s wishes, was two intersecting arrows on his left arm with the initials of his family members. Now his entire left arm is covered in tattoos. They include the following:

- A compass: “I did this one pointing in the right direction”

- A wolf: “Courage to do everything”

- A lion, which to him represents family

- A rose, which to him represents confidence

Meligeni Alves also has an homage to his grandfather on his ribs, another to his dog (who passed away) on his back and a sailboat. The latter has no particular meaning, he just felt it fit the area of his lower left bicep.

But the Brazilian is more than his tattoos, and he showed as much on Pat Rafter Arena with an impressive display of shotmaking. He also represented his country well in his opening match against two-time ATP Tour titlist Lorenzo Musetti, falling in a tight two-setter.

Meligeni Alves is enjoying the experience in Brisbane, especially with sister Carolina Alves on the team, too.

“It’s nice to have my sister on the same team. To play on the same team as Bea [Beatriz Haddad Maia], she’s having an amazing experience, she did amazing in 2022, so it’s good to share experiences with these people who are playing the tour more than me, the big events,” Meligeni Alves said. “I’m playing the Grand Slams only and if I can, ATPs. It’s different to play on a big court like this.

“I played against Musetti and I did a really good match, I had my chances. I couldn’t take them but to play in front of so many people in a big stadium like this is special and sharing this with some friends of mine… It’s just a good experience and [I] hope to keep helping Brazil.”

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