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Two Italian youngsters, 13-year-old Vittoria and 11-year-old Carola, did not expect much when they played rooftop tennis in Finale Ligura, Italy, earlier this year. But after becoming Internet sensations, they got an even more unexpected surprise on 10 July: a visit from Roger Federer.

The 38-year-old Swiss was touched by the young Italians’ perseverance during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Personally for me, that was a very special moment in my career as a tennis player,” Federer said. “To surprise a fan, or children, like I was able to with Carola and Vittoria today.”

The original video was an instant hit on social media, earning nearly seven million views on Twitter, 1.3 million views on Facebook and almost 450,000 views on Instagram within a day of publishing. Federer got in on the action, rallying with the girls across the same rooftops.

“It was great. I have played in many cool places around the world. But this is definitely up there for me as a special experience,” Federer said. “We showed that we can play anywhere and have fun with it. I had the best time, honestly.”

In the video, Federer revealed he had another surprise for the girls. In partnership with Barilla, Federer is sending them to the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar for summer camp.

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