Sara Ventura, the former tennis player speaks: "I suffered all kinds of abuse from the coaches"

Sara Ventura, the former tennis player speaks: "I suffered all kinds of abuse from the coaches"

Former professional tennis player on the WTA circuit, 15 career titles, Sarah Ventura47 years old, she is now director of the gymnasium that bears her name in Milan. In an interview given to Vanity Fair he told how much sport has marked his life, from the comfort after the loss of his mother to the traumas of the violence suffered by the coaches.

"I wanted to reach the top 100 tennis players in the world by the age of 30. I didn't make it, I gave up everything. Never touched a racket again. It took me years of psychoanalysis to process this failure".

Sara Ventura: "The coach slipped into my bed"

"Sometimes, on away trips, I shared a room with the coach. I did it to save money, but I had to be careful that everything went well at night," she explains Sarah Ventura to Vanity Fair. "I was 13, I suffered all kinds of abuse, including sexual abuse. The coach used to come into my bed, but I kicked him out". The former tennis player reveals how violence was the order of the day, even against her companions: "I was talking about it with the other tennis players, girls who were a little older. They told me that it worked like this and that they too had been through it. So I learned to sleep with the racket nearby".

Verbal violence

The harassments were also verbal and Sarah Ventura he is keen to recount one episode in particular: "The day after one of the night raid attempts, I was playing a match in the European championships. I was winning 5 to 2 and I allowed myself to hit the first service ball hard; it was a risk but I was aware that, if I had made a mistake, I could have counted on the second. Unfortunately, I'm wrong. The coach stands up and yells at me: 'Fucking head, I'll kick your ass home'. Said and done: I won that match, but he didn't let me play for the rest of the week."

The impossibility of reporting: "If you weren't compliant, they made you pay"

"Let's say that, if you weren't compliant, they made you pay: they could not summon you to the Nationalmake you train on hard courts even if you were going to compete on clay, they could also not sign you up for some tournaments". Sarah Ventura he also explained the reasons for the lack of reports: "If you spoke, if you left the federation, your career was over. Everyone knew, nobody said a word. The luckiest girls, those with a family behind them, were sometimes taken and taken away. I could only count on myself".

Sara Ventura: "We need to eradicate patriarchy. I'm a lesbian, the government doesn't recognize our rights"

“These problems will persist until patriarchy is uprooted in Italy,” he says Sarah Venturawho also takes sides against the current government: "Having a woman, this woman, in government does not mean promoting women's emancipation. I don't agree on anything with the president Giorgia Meloni. I think everyone should have the same rights. I, for example, am a lesbian: I have the same duties as straight citizens, but fewer rights. Why? It's one of the many forms of discrimination I've encountered in my life."

The relationship with parents

"As a child I lacked a male figure with whom I could compare myself. My mother fell ill with breast cancer when I was six. Until she passed away, family life was concentrated on her treatments. Then chemotherapy left them in pieces. There was no room for anything else". On his father: "Wine merchant, closed character; I come from Cologno al Serio, a small village in the province of Bergamo, a place of hard workers, honest people, but rough and not very empathetic. My dad was like that, not inclined to hugs, let's say . My mom's death made it worse."

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