The rebirth of Salvatore Caruso

Archived the worst season of his career, Salvatore Caruso is slowly relaunching. “I want to relive the atmosphere of big tournaments. I have rediscovered the pleasure of fighting on the tennis court”. He is in the decisive qualifying round, where there are five other Azzurri. Well done Serafini, Oradini and Iannaccone.

When you prepare for an important match and you get goosebumps, you feel the vibrations, the sensations, the emotions… you realize that there is still a lot of fuel in your body”. After all, one sentence is enough to summarize the spirit of Salvatore Caruso. Having reached the “enta” threshold, the Sicilian restarted from the slums after the deep crisis experienced in 2022. He had almost dropped out of the top 400, today he is presenting himself at the ASPRIA Tennis Cup – BCS Trophy (€73,000, clay ) from number 265, first seed of the qualifiers. He made his debut with a convincing success against Lorenzo Rottoli, avoiding complicating his life in the final: on the score of 6-0 5-1, the Como player got close to 5-4 but Caruso closed the case when he served for the second time for the match. To access the main draw he will have to beat the Czech Michael Vrbensky. “The season is getting better and better – says Caruso – results aside, I found myself. I’m having fun, I’m comfortable fighting and for one with my tennis it’s good news. The way my career has been, it was hard to hope for a comeback with a bang. Let’s say I’m doing the same steps as a few years ago, but with greater speed”. 2022 was his worst season, made even more complicated by an inner crisis that had resulted in tachycardia that forced him to retire during a match in Parma. “I have all the answers about what happened. If you’re not serene off the pitch, it shows on the inside as well. I won’t go into detail, but I’m not able to discern life on and off the pitch. I wasn’t serene, and all of this was reflected on the pitch. But my crisis wasn’t due to tennis”. Number 76 ATP in 2020, Caruso built himself step by step, arriving to play on the most important fields after starting from the bottom.


The desire to relive those moments is the flame that fuels his motivation. “I’d be lying if I said I was fully satisfied with what I did – he says – if I were, I wouldn’t be here fighting in the qualifiers of a Challenger. I am hungry. I’m so hungry to play important games and relive that thrill before taking the field. And then it would be a great satisfaction to get there for the second time. Once may be a coincidence… twice no”. While maintaining the joviality that has always distinguished him, the 2023 Caruso is a different person than a few years ago. Certainly more mature, even more reflective. “I’ve been on the tour for 12-13 years and I’ve accumulated a lot of experience that I’m trying to put on the field. Everything can be improved: for me, managing moments is an aspect on which I have grown a lot, but I can still improve. On a technical level I could play a few more slices, use a more worked first serve, maybe adopt some serve and volley because emerging players are doing it. Having variations is always positive, but the most important thing is having found a Salvo Caruso who fights and wants to win”. A challenge with himself, without thinking too much of others, even if it is inevitable to think of a sort of competition between those of his generation and emerging young people. “Obviously I’m focused on myself, but a few days ago I happened to be joking with Gianluca Mager. We told each other that we were up there, then we went down and we all have more or less the same classification. I am also thinking of Gaio, Giannessi, Travaglia… we are a group of friends who have gone back but are trying to go back”. And the young? Apart from Sinner and Musetti, among the twenty-year-olds in Italian tennis is there anyone you particularly like? “There are many and with different styles – says “Sabbo” – Arnaldi seems to be in front of everyone, Passaro is going through a period a bit like this… I had to name a name, I would say Flavio Cobolli. He’s a very nice guy, more sensitive than he might seem… I think and hope he can do really well”. Among other things, the Roman is at the ASPRIA Harbor Club and is waiting for a qualifier. Who knows, maybe Salvatore Caruso’s name won’t come out of the qualifying lottery…