Former Davis Cup champion praises ‘incredible’ figure as Italy mourn loss
Italy are gearing up for their first Davis Cup quarter-final since 2018 while dealing with the death of a significant team figure.
Turin is one of the three hosts for the 2021 Davis Cup, with home fans cheering the Italians into the quarter-finals.
Ahead of that clash with Croatia, the sad news came to light that long-time doctor of the national team Pierfrancesco Parra had passed away at the age of 64.
“Italian tennis is in mourning,” the Italian Tennis Federation (FIT) tweeted.
“Pierfrancesco Parra, histroic doctor of the national team and always alongside the FIT and our players, has died.
“Italy today will play with mourning armbands,” the tweet finished.
“This is horrible news,” former world number three and 2005 Davis Cup champion Croat Ivan Ljubicic tweeted too.
“A phenomenon, an incredible person, I’m speechless.
Questa è una notizia orribile. 😔😔😔😔. Un fenomeno, una persona incredibile…. Non ho parole https://t.co/1s94SEBgW5
— Ivan Ljubicic (@theljubicic) November 29, 2021
Commonly referred to as ‘Doctor Laser’, Parra pioneered a type of laser therapy implementing an Argon-Neodymium-TAG in clinical for use with athletes.
His collaborations spanned multiple sports and included basketball, volleyball, Juventus FC and the Italian national tennis team.
“The Italian Tennis Federation, its president Angelo Binaghi and the whole movement gather with affection around the family in offering their deepest condolences,” the FIT added in their own statement.
Should the Italian team triumph over Croatia in Turin in memory of Parra, they would face either Serbia or Kazakhstan in the semi-finals.
Italy won their first and only Davis Cup crown all the way back in 1976. They have been runners-up six times, most recently in 1998, when current ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi played in the final against Sweden.
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