15 ‘2015 Sport Highlights’ I won’t forget

Roberta Vinci’s interview after Serena’s Us Open Upset

A 300/1 favorite to win her US Open Semifinal, Roberta Vinci shocked the Tennis and Sport World by stopping Serena Willams’ run to a Calendar Year Grand Slam.

After an amazing comeback win, Vinci won fans heart with a joyful and open-heart on-the-court interview.

Kobe Bryant announces his retirement from Professional Basketball

With an emotional letter on the Players’ Tribune, NBA legend Kobe Bryant announced his upcoming retirement from Pro Basketball.

The rest of the 2015-16 Lakers Season is going to be a long Farewell Tour to the Black Mamba, a unique catalyst of feelings, and an occasion to reflect on a long and incredible career.

Robert Lewandowski scores 5 goals in 9 minutes

On September 22 Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski entered the game against Wolfsburg right after halftime, but not even the most optimistic fan would have ever dreamed what happened in the second half first 15 minutes.

The Polish number 9 made history, scoring 5 goals in a 8 minutes and 59 second arch. And they were one better than the other.

Usain Bolt stays on top of Athletic’s World

Jamaican World Record Holder Usain Bolt entered the 2015 World Athletics Championships in Beijing not in the best physical shape, with the concrete chance of losing his long primacy to controversial former Olympic Champion Justin Gatlin.

But in the Stadium where his legacy started, he reminded us why he’s the number one.

Gregorio Paltrinieri breaks the oldest Swimming World Record

Young Italian freestyle Swimmer Gregorio Paltrineri has had a breakout year in 2015.

He finally consecrated himself with winning the Gold medal in 1500m Freestyle at Kazan’s World Championship, but he was able to do more of that, by breaking the oldest Swimming World Record on books, the 1500 Freestyle Short Course one, made in 2001 by Swimming Legend Grant Hackett.

Danilo Gallinari breaks Germany’s heart at 2015 EuroBasket

After a long series of injuries, in 2015 Danilo Gallinari reminded us why he’s one of the best European players of his generation.

He scored an impressive 47-point-game Career High early in the year with his Denver Nuggets, but his most impressive performances were during the 2015 EuroBasket, where he led his Italian team through a though Group Stage with lots of impressive plays and numbers.

His clutch Game-Tying shot against the host German team has been an inexplicable moment to witness live.

MSN is alive, leading Barcelona to Football Dominance

My generation has grown up with MSN messenger, the first viral system to chat and communicate with friends worldwide.

Windows Live Messenger was discontinued in 2013, but the acronym regained new life with the explosion of the outstanding FC Barcelona trio of striker: Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar led the Catalan team to their second Treble (first team in Football History to accomplish that) in 6 years in 2015, scoring (as of today) 135 goals in the calendar year for Barça.

Golden State Warriors made Sport History

2015 was, without a doubt, the ‘Dubs Year’.

The Golden State Warriors won their first NBA Championship in 40 years, after an historical season (their 83 wins, combining Regular Season and Playoffs, is the 3rd highest in NBA History). But they were often labeled as ‘lucky’.

After that claims, they started the 2015-16 NBA Season with 24 consecutive wins, crashing by far the previous League Record (no team had done better than a 15-0 start in NBA history) but also making an all-time record for North American Professional Sports.

Klay Thompson’s Insane 37-point Quarter

Basketball fans could have feel that 2015 was going to be the ‘Warriors Year’ already on January 23rd.

Golden State entered the second half against the Sacramento Kings with the game in balance, when Klay Thompson made a 2-pointer for the 61-58 Warriors lead, with 9’45” remaining to play.

That basket was the beginning of an NBA Record: 37 points in a Quarter, the result of a perfect shooting display (13/13 from the field, 9/9 from the 3-point line, 2/2 on free throws).

Wawrinka defeats Djokovic in Roland Garros Final

2015 was a Record year for World Tennis Number 1 Novak Djokovic, whom was able to win 3 Grand Slam titles, 6 Master 1000 Tournaments, playing 15 consecutive finals (out of 16 tournaments played) and making All-Time record in Prize Money earnings.

He was only the third player in tennis history to reach, in a calendar year, all 4 Major Finals (after Rod Laver and Roger Federer), but the surprising loss to Stan Wawrinka in Roland Garros Final prevented him from a Year (and Career) Grand Slam. For now.

Flavia Pennetta wins US Open and announces her retirement from Tennis

Roberta Vinci’s exploit against Serena Williams was only one half of the fantastic cake baked by Italian Tennis Player in 2015 US Open: the american Slam saw a first-ever all-Italian Major Final in Pro-Tennis history between Vinci and Flavia Pennetta, two longlife friends both coming from Puglia.

Pennetta later prevailed over her fellow national, conquering her first Grand Slam title (on her first Final), and after that she shocked Tennis World by announcing her retirement, in ‘Sampras style’.

Jamie Vardy, Leicester making Premier League History

After 16 games into the 2014-15 Premier League Season, Leicester Football Club was at the bottom of England’s main Football League, with only 2 wins and 10 overall points.

Today, with 16 games into the current season, the Foxes are on top of England’s Football, with 10 won games and 35 points.

One of the reasons for such a turnaround is Jamie Vardy, a striker whom was playing semi-professional league Football only in 2012, able to make a new Premier League Record scoring in 11 consecutive matches.

Chelsea’s Downfall in just 7 months.

Chelsea Football Club began 2015 in fashion, winning their 5th League Cup and, later in May, their 4th Premier League title in 10 years (5th in team history). José Mourinho’s return to Blues’ bench paid off.

What no one could have ever imagined is that, as of today, Chelsea is living an authentic nightmare and one of the most unthinkable and quick downfalls in Football History, being only one point over Relegation zone after their loss to Leicester, a one resulted in the end of Mourinho’s second spell at Stamford Bridge.

Dinamo Sassari Historical Italian Treble

2009/10 was a season of ‘firsts’ for Italian Sport. For example, FC Internazionale became the first Italian Football Team Ever to accomplish the ‘Treble’. It was also the season, in Basketball, of the First Ever Promotion to ‘Serie A1’ for Dinamo Sassari.

5 years later, Sassari made Italian Basketball History by accomplishing a National Treble, winning ‘Supercoppa’, ‘Coppa Italia’ and ‘Scudetto’ after an amazing and unthinkable ride.

Wisconsin Stuns Kentucky’s Perfect Season Dreams

I started the piece with an amazing upset in 2015, I end it with another one.

The Kentucky Wildcats entered the NCAA Basketball 2015 Final Four with a 38-0 record, looking to becoming the first College Team in almost 40 years to accomplish the ‘Perfect Season’ and doing that with the best overall record.

Between Calipari’s Team and the Championship Game there were the Wisconsin Badgers, led by National Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky.

The Badgers took down the previously unbeaten Wildcats on the grand stage of the Final Four. And they did it in fashion.

The Federer Experience

Being a massive Sport Fan, I always like to remember my first approach with the sports I follow.

I can’t precisely remember my first basketball game or my first football match, but I have a vivid memory of the first tennis match I’ve ever seen.

It was the 9th of July, 2001. A Monday afternoon.

I was at home, switching continuously channels, looking for something to watch. At 9 years old, I was quite bored that morning.

I turned on the channel which was broadcasting the Wimbledon Final, the first Final ever to start on the third Monday.

It was love at first sight.

How couldn’t you fall in love with Tennis by watching this match?

I don’t remember if it was my admiration for Sports Underdog (definition that fits perfectly the 2001 Ivanisevic) or the emotions that were flowing in that Final, but since then I started following Tennis, designating Andy Roddick as my favorite player.

Why Roddick? It’s always more stimulating cheering for the ‘underdog’.

Although he was responsible for many heartbreaking Roddick defeats, like the one, below, I’ve always recognized the greatness of who’s one of the best sports athlete in my generation: Roger Federer.

Being a lifetime Sports Fan, when I was 14 I made a list of the athlete I wanted to watch Live in my life.

Roger Federer, with my childhood hero Manu Ginobili, is leading that list.

That’s because you know that when you’re watching live a Federer’s match you understand that you’re witnessing something more than a Game.

It’s the same feeling you get when you’re watching live Great Athletes like Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps.

You’re seeing an Icon. You’re seeing a GOAT. You’re having one of the best Experiences that Sports could give you.

Ever since I bought tickets for the ATP Finals in London I was hoping, for one of the tickets, to being for a Federer match.

I got lucky last Sunday, as I was in the audience to watch Federer’s Finals debut against Tomas Berdych.

The first thing that is easily noticed is that still today, after a long and distinguish career, Federer’s presence massively moves tennis fans to cheer louder and with more enthusiasm than the usual.

Federer is loved by Sports Fan, and the feeling is reciprocal.

From my last-row-of-the-arena seat I was able to spot the average attendance composition of a Federer match.

Unlike for other tennis matches I was able to attend in my life, many of them were wearing shirts or flags with two dominant colors: red and white, the colors of Switzerland flag.

It would be an error, however, to assume that all Federer’s fans dressed in red and white are Swiss: his fan base really has not geographical boundaries, something not so usual as you could think it might be.

It’s not so surprising that Federer has won the ‘Fan Award’ for more than the last 10 years.

You can easily feel more enthusiasm after a Federer point rather than a point scored by his opponent.

While enjoying the match, I started wondering about the reasons of this kind of atmosphere and ‘fan loyalty’.

Surely it’s relevant that Federer has had a long and ‘rich’ career: a ‘Roger fan by day one’ is someone who’s following him from a really long time nowadays, and if we’re talking about a ‘young adult Federer fan’ we’re referring to someone whom has ‘grown up’ with Federer.

Usually, for a Sports Fan, the ‘growing up support’ is always the strongest of all, also because it tends to remember you your transition from teenage to adult.

Another reason could be Federer’s tennis style, which it differs to his main antagonists one’s, especially if we’re referring to Rafael Nadal’s style. The basis of a great Sport Rivalry is not only made by a lot of matches between two rivals (or teams), but also by the difference in game (or even cultural) style.

Rivalries like Celtics-Lakers, Real Madrid-Barcelona, Boca-River, All Blacks-Australia, and many others, have all these characteristics in common.

These characteristics could also explain why Federer’s rivalry with Nadal is (and will always be) felt more intensely by his fans rather than a matchup with Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray.

A further point can be made about Federer’s personality as well: his way of appearing always charming, smiling and also ‘regal’ contributes indeed to his audience success. A likable hero has always more success rather than an unlikable one.


Last but not least, Federer’s likability is also made by the fact that when someone attend one of his matches, he will likely enjoy it.

This was the case for his match against Tomas Berdych in last week’s London Masters.

Berdych’s good start (breaking Federer on the opening game) contributed to raising the Swiss-man play, who got quickly back on track by winning the first set 6-4.

Once Federer got going it wasn’t a lot else to do for his Czech opponent. Quickly escaped to a 4-o lead in the second set, the Swiss closed with a well played 6-2, including some ‘SABR’ attempts, in only 69 minutes.

Later last week, Federer qualified for his 10th Year-End Championship Final, ultimately lost to Novak Djokovic after having beaten him during the Round Robin phase.

It’s still unclear for how long we’ll be able to live witness The Roger Federer Experience.

But it’s surely something that every Sports Fan should do.