Player Features

Olivieri Enjoying Dream Run, Paying Tribute To His Late Father

Learn about the special meaning behind Olivieri's breakthrough run
June 01, 2023
Genaro Alberto Olivieri is competing in his first tour-level main draw at Roland Garros.
Genaro Alberto Olivieri is competing in his first tour-level main draw at Roland Garros. By ATP Staff

“Who were you thinking of?”

That question was asked of Genaro Alberto Olivieri, the No. 231 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, after he earned his first tour-level win on Tuesday at Roland Garros. It was also his first victory in a major, which he earned by beating Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard 7-6 (3), 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

The answer to the question was both clear and touching, but also painful.

“My father, who died during the pandemic,” answered the Argentine. “He was my sidekick, the person who helped me in every way — psychologically, emotionally… Then he started to learn a little more about tennis and he would even help me with that. I always remember him. I hope he is now watching everything that is happening to me this week and that he has an even bigger smile than I do.”

In February 2021, while the COVID-19 pandemic was still in full force around the world, Olivieri travelled to Turkey, where he shared a room with current World No. 64 Pedro Cachín. Before returning to Barcelona, Cachín tested positive and both players and their teams had to isolate until they tested negative.

The tragic news came when he went home, two days before his return, everyone in his house got sick. Olivieri’s parents ended up in hospital. His mother recovered without any issues, but his father’s condition worsened and he was transferred to Buenos Aires. He passed away on 7 April, just when Olivieri arrived to say goodbye.

“After that, I stopped playing tennis,” remembered the Argentine. “I didn’t pick a racquet up for three months. I helped at home, and at an accounting firm. I wasn’t motivated to play.

“After the third month, I started to miss it. I wanted to try again for a while. When I stepped onto court I had a fire that gave me strength in tough matches.”

Olivieri explained how his family helped him through that time emotionally.

“They believed in me,” Olivieri said. “They have been my sponsors my whole life. And when my father passed away, my mother said she would support me, that I should keep going and continue to play tennis.”

At 24 years of age, Olivieri arrived in Paris without having played in a tour-level main draw. He came through qualifying and managed to win his first match. The next challenge for the Argentine will be Italian player Andrea Vavassori, who came back from two sets down to beat Miomir Kecmanovic 5-7, 2-6, 7-6(8), 7-6(3), 7-6(9).

"This is amazing to me,” Olivieri said. “There’s no explanation. I’m so happy, and the important thing is to keep concentrating and focusing because this is still not over. I have dreamt of this so many times, of being here and winning a match. I don’t want to wake up.”

Editor's note: This story was translated from

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