Italo Calvino had defined him as “a writer lent to sport”: Gianni Clerici, historic tennis signature, longtime collaborator of ‘Repubblica’, who announced his disappearance on the site, died at the age of 91 in Bellagio. Born in Como in 1930, he had played tennis, winning two Italian junior doubles titles paired with Fausto Gardini and a De Galea cup in Vichy in 1950 and participating as a singles player in Wimbledon (1953) and Roland Garros (1954).

After having collaborated from 1951 to 1954 with La Gazzetta dello Sport, and in 1954 with Sport Giallo and Il Mondo, in 1956 he moved to the Day of Milan as a columnist and correspondent, lending his refined comments on tennis also on TV. He has signed the great ‘classics’ dedicated to the sport of racket: Easy tennis (1972), 500 years of tennis (1972, then released in a new edition in 2007), the Divine biography. Suzanne Wengen, the greatest tennis player of the twentieth century (2002), Gianni Clerici at the Internazionali d’Italia. Chronicles of the Scribe 1930-2010 (2010) and Wimbledon. Sixty years of history of the most important tournament in the world (2013). But he is also the author of narrative texts (the trilogy I gesti bianchi, 1995; the collection of short stories Una notte con la Gioconda, 2008; the novels Australia felix, 2012, and 2084. The dictatorship of women, 2020), of poetic collections ( Posthumous life, 2005; The sound of color, 2011) and historical essays (Mussolini. The last night, 2007). In 2010 Veronica Lavenia and Piero Pardini published his biography, entitled Il cantastorie tireless. Gianni Clerici the writer, the poet the journalist. In 2006 Clerici was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the second Italian present after Nicola Pietrangeli.

“Unique and unrepeatable, this was Gianni Clerici. We will miss him very much, not only as a journalist but also as a writer”: on the phone with ANSA, Nicola Pietrangeli remembers the figure of his friend and journalist, who passed away today. “He left me alone in the tennis Hall of Fame” says Pietrangeli who then remembers: “In his books there has always been a small challenge with me, for women – he smiles – it was unique and unrepeatable. Like his commentary. with Rino Tommasi “.