Player Features

Nardi's Perfect Day: Motorbikes & Football

Italian set to compete in Jeddah
November 28, 2023
Luca Nardi supports reigning Serie A champions Napoli, the football club based in his father's native city.
Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Luca Nardi supports reigning Serie A champions Napoli, the football club based in his father's native city. By ATP Staff

Luca Nardi has moved to the brink of the Top 100 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings behind a strong season at the ATP Challenger Tour level. In addition to his two Challenger titles this season in Portugal and Japan, Nardi also notched a main-draw win as a qualifier at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in April.

But what is the 20-year-old like off-court? caught up with the World No. 115 in Jeddah to discuss his love for motorbikes, football and more...

If you could have dinner with three famous people, who would they be and why?
Valentino Rossi. He is from my city. I am from Pesaro, so for sure with Vale. Then Roger Federer. I'm a tennis player, and everyone likes Federer. And I don't know, maybe with a top model? I don't know which one.

Describe your perfect day if you are not playing tennis?
I have a motorbike, and as I said, I’m from the same city of Valentino, so all of my family has a motorbike and it's a culture of our city to have a motorbike. So I'd just go for a ride for some hours in the morning and maybe in the afternoon, I love to play padel. For sure padel and football with my friends because I love to watch football and I always try to stay connected to whatever is happening in Italy with football and yeah, that's my perfect day.

Who do you support in football?
Napoli, because my dad is from Napoli.

They won the league last year, didn't they?
Yes, it's a very good time! It was the third time in history.

If you had to choose between attending a music concert or a sporting event, what would you choose and why?
A sports event, for sure... Football. In my city, basketball is more famous because we have a team that is in the first league. But honestly, I don't like it that that much. So I would say a football match.

Who are you close with among the players in Jeddah, and who are your best friends on Tour?
I've known these guys since we were kids, so we know each other very well. I have a good relationship with Flavio [Cobolli]. As I said, I know him since I was like eight years old. I'm very good friends with him.

But if I have to say another Italian guy, maybe Francesco Maestrelli. He is not here but I have a very good relationship with him. I was in an academy with him.

If you weren’t a tennis player, what job would you want?
Honestly, I never thought about it because I've always played tennis. I don't know why, but I like physiotherapy. I don't know why, but I like that.

Like every year at the Next Gen ATP Finals, the tournament will be trialling a lot of different rules and innovations. What are your thoughts on them? Is there one that you're interested to try out?
The newest one is no warm-up. For sure everyone is excited to see how it goes. And honestly for myself, I don't like it that much because I'm not that kind of player that starts super good in a match. So for me, I think it's going to be tough. So I have to warm up before a match in a very good way. But I don't know, let's see what happens. Maybe I will enjoy it with this one. 

What is the biggest thing you learned from competing on the ATP Challenger Tour and ATP Tour this year, after a successful season to qualify for Jeddah?
Honestly I wouldn't say that I had a good year. Maybe in the last month, yes, but in the full year I had a lot of ups and downs. I was injured for two months and it didn't help.

For sure the biggest lesson that I learned this year is that every match, you have to play 100 per cent. You don't have a match that you can go on the court and be relaxed. Every match, Challenger Tour, ATP Tour, whatever it is, you have to be focused 100 per cent every point.

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