Victory 76 turbulent before and after

This episode is dedicated to the still unique and current 1976 Blue Triumph in the wake of the hit movie and TV series “Team” and the renaissance of men’s tennis for the new Berrettini-Sonego-Sinner-Musetti quartet that gives tangible hope and in a short time another moment.

This victory is still unique, historic and not so competitive because Italy was clearly favored in the final on the best surface, red clay. The Italy we remember was Adriano Panatta, Corrado Barazzutti, Paolo Bertolucci and Tonino Zugarelli. These are the players who made up a very homogeneous team, with excellent individual players as well as the wild card of the fast – “Don’t call me back up” as Zuga awkwardly argued – and the excellent weakness of friends Adriano and Paolo.

Ensuring an ideal situation that could have been guaranteed by the United States and Australia in those years, and later Sweden and France. Players are able to arrive shortly thereafter, at number 4 in the world, Panatta, at 7, Barazzutti, at 12, Bertolucci and 27, Zugarelli. Mature players in all physical, athletic, tactical and temperamental aspects, who have trained and prepared at best at the future Federal Technical Center in Formia precisely for the three great goals of this tennis: Davis, AS Roma and Roland Garros. The players who practically won the cup in the previous round, in the semi-final against Australia in Rome, by defeating John Newcombe in the singles and above all dominated the Newcombe-Roche double, bypassing Paw Paw John Alexander.

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In Santiago, against honest Patricio Cornejo and Jaimen Fillol, 3-0 was guaranteed from the start and so it was. Fillol, very excited, snatched a bundle of hope from the equally blocked Barazzutti, but 1-0 from the blue “soldier”, solid and reliable, Corrado unleashed theatrical and exciting Panatta phenomenon in the three easy combos of the single-second and double blue, Bertolucci and Banatta, while conceding the The first group of the hosts and suffered a bit of tension in front of such an important goal, they signed the decisive point on 3-6 6-2 9-7 6-3. Even if the score recorded by history is 4-1 after the last two songs are useless.

The real game that Italy played before and actually played later. In parallel, the splash of red that Banata wanted persuaded Bertolucci to play with a shirt of this color “provocation” in a country suffocated by the lions of the totalitarian regime imposed by General Pinochet. The first, on the eve, was turbulent, and was devastated by Hamlet’s question: yes or no? To go or not to go to Chile? Does the slap of rejection hurt the Pinochet dictator more, or does undeserved success pay off?

Italy was divided, as always, and it will also happen in the future on many other issues. With the main question hovering in the air: should sport stay or shouldn’t it stay out of political and social issues? The game played behind the scenes by then-PC, Moscow and other political forces was finally won by common sense, with the offices of non-player captain, Nicola Petrangelli, fighting hard in all forums to bring his team to the legendary Davis Cup win. Below is the surreptitious return of the Azores to their homeland, fearing the reaction of the people, the hidden victory despite the flashes of that first historical cup, partly replaced by festivities 46 years later. A review that recreates that sarcastic smile that has always characterized the faces and stories of the Four Blue Knights.

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“Team” in fact.

Queenie Bell

"Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar."

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