Tennis on the Racetrack is ready for the green light. The Invitational Tournament that will be played in May 2023 at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari International Racetrack of Imola was presented as a preview for the local authorities at an event inside the Checco Costa Museum. An event that immediately went live with the most significant news of the day – the first confirmation of a top player. One of the eight participants in the tournament will be Matteo Berrettini, number 7 in the world and the best Italian player today, a finalist at Wimbledon in 2021.

The 25-year-old from Rome sent an exclusive video message to the organizers: “I want to send greetings to all Tennis fans,” he said, “and to all motor racing fans. I am very happy that I can participate in the inaugural Tennis on the Racetrack at Imola in May 2023. It will be a great opportunity to compete in one of the most significant places of Italian sport, with other champions, preparing for Roland Garros and other major events, but at the same time having fun and entertaining the public.”

A sprint start, therefore, for a date that will be a world premiere.  Tennis has never been played inside a race track before.  This will be the first time, in a real temple of speed, one of the most symbolic places of Formula 1.

“As administrators,” explained the mayor of Imola Marco Panieri, including the important role of the Emilia-Romagna Region, “we would like to thank the organizers, because Tennis on the Racetrack is an innovative idea that allows us to invest in the multifunctionality and sustainability of the racetrack, working together, not only for Formula 1. Tennis in Italy is experiencing a great moment and this city, where the sport is very popular, has wholly embraced the idea. The choice of Imola as the first date for a worldwide initiative, fills us with pride. ”

According to Elena Penazzi, city councillor at the racetrack, “This is a great opportunity to understand the real potential of various kinds of events in this structure, which has already happened with the Cycling World Championships.” “The goal,” added the president of Con.Ami, Fabio Bacchilega, “ is to ensure that the racetrack is an industrial asset, that can once again play a role of international appeal, not only for motor racing”.  Giancarlo Minardi, chairman of Formula Imola, added, “With the announcement of Matteo Berrettini, we have really started with a bang in preparing for a very important year for the racetrack, which will be celebrating its 70th anniversary”.

But how and when will it be played? A clay court will be positioned inside the track (with grandstands for about 5,000 seats), to allow players to continue their preparation for Roland Garros, scheduled for the following week. The best in the world will be veterans of the  Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, and therefore, will be in the middle of the season on the European red clay court, one of the most important moments of the entire tennis year.

The tournament – which was born from an idea of CC LAB Consultant Ltd in association with CC LAB Italia srl and the Enzo and Dino Ferrari international Racetrack of Imola – will take place in a single day, with seven matches (quarterfinals, semifinals and final) in the format of a long tie-break. A fast and exciting formula like a Formula 1 Grand Prix, which will captivate the public from start to finish. The event therefore aims at uniting two apparently distant worlds, that of Tennis and that of Motor Racing. The two worlds actually have a lot in common. The race towards Imola 2023 has just begun.

PIETRO BENVENUTI – Director Enzo and Dino Ferrari International Racetrack of Imola – said,

“When we had the first opportunity to think of something like this we were thinking of somewhere else, but as soon as I arrived in Imola, we recontacted the organizers of CC LAB to bring this event right here. For us, the concept of versatility is important: to make people understand with facts, what it means and what we are doing, because everyone knows the track, but not everyone knows the potential that this system has. We will begin the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the racetrack with a first class event, moving forward with a very specific logic that also involves respect for the environment. For us it is essential to start with tennis, which is at the moment at its maximum development “.


I would like to thank, first of all, the institutions. Imola and Emilia-Romagna are the land of hospitality, but above all they bring us the Enzo and Dino Ferrari International Racetrack, which is the temple of Made in Italy, so for us it is the ideal location for the inaugural Tennis on the Racetrack, Imola 2023. Tennis on the Racetrack was born from an idea of CC LAB, which holds the intellectual rights, and has deep roots in a journey that began some time ago, a long journey, during which the idea has evolved, taking into account historical events and happenings, but always retaining firm principles and values that have not changed over time. I am referring, for example, to the respect for green issues, which are so important to us, for corporate social sustainability and for the promotion of Made in Italy. We have conceived an idea to be definitely implemented in Italy, but also to be taken outside of Europe. An idea that makes unity a determining factor. Unity among different worlds, between the worlds of motor racing, sport and entertainment, suitable for a wide audience of different targets. A worldwide format designed to reach different countries, thanks also to the use of a digital platform that we are going to launch.”


CLAUDIO SCOPECE – Project Manager Tennis on the Racetrack

Imola gave the project its legs and therefore we have to thank the community, because to generate what we are talking about today, involvement of local businesses and institutions is absolutely necessary. We envisaged this scenario of opportunity, because of the many connections between the tennis world and the motor racing world. The racetrack is the ideal home to generate an event with these criteria and it is wonderful that the local community has taken the concept to its heart. When the idea was first conceived, we imagined a tennis court inside an infrastructure that already had two grandstands and with the advantage of all the infrastructural operations, skills and existing services that are part of the corporate culture within a racetrack. I am thinking about the access points, I am thinking about safety, I am thinking about the use of corporate areas that in a traditional tennis stadium are almost impossible to find. But the application of this idea would only work if someone gave legs to the project, so thank you to the community, the local businesses and institutions, as well as Formula Imola. Thanks in particular to the President, Giancarlo Minardi, to Pietro Benvenuti and to the shareholder Con.Ami who decided that this project could become part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Imola racetrack.

A few numbers regarding the potential from the point of view of the media impact: under the digital profile we will be able to reach 500,000 people, while from a television point of view, the expectation is to be able to reach between 400 and 500 thousand viewers in Italy, with the possibility of extending the product around the world to make it visible to at least 15 million people. Furthermore, it is a format that may have the potential to be exported. At the moment we have reached an agreement with Imola for the next three years and in the coming months we will talk with other racetracks around the world, which have shown a real interest in this unique project.

GIORGIO TARANTOLA – Technical Consultant Tennis on the Racetrack Imola 2023

Tennis on the Racetrack is a truly innovative idea that has taken root over many years. It is the result of 20 years of dedication, during which we have honed our skills specifically for this event. Imola will be an ideal bridge between Rome and Paris and will take advantage of the presence of the finest European players in the world. In order to guarantee the players the best preparation for Roland Garros, the tournament will be played on a clay court, (which will be positioned on the starting grid), so that they have continuity and uniformity of surface. It will be an Invitational Tournament, with 8 of the best players in the world, engaged in matches played over a 10 point tie break. In our opinion, the format of the tiebreak guarantees unbelievable excitement, because each point is vital for victory in the game.


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The leader of the golden generation of Italian tennis. Number 7 in the world, a boy who has made history for Italy on several occasions. Most notably in 2021, when he reached the final at Wimbledon, the first “Azzurro” ever to get that far in the most prestigious event in the world.

Matteo Berrettini is a champion. Arriving late to professional tennis, compared to his colleagues, he quickly rose through the ranks, through constant improvements, determination and extraordinary willpower. With an explosive serve and a rocket-like forehand, ‘The Hammer’ – as he is nicknamed on the Tour – has many seasons in front of him to fully realise his potential and bring home to Italy, titles, that until yesterday, we could only dream of.

Today, thanks to Berrettini, dreams are not destined to remain dreams. Today the pupil of Vincenzo Santopadre – the coach who has trained him in recent years and helped to make him the global star he has become – has all the credentials to be among the favourites at the start of every match, from those on the circuit to the tournaments of the Grand Slam. Not forgetting the challenges wearing the national team jersey – as Matteo has said several times, he has the Davis Cup among his career goals.

At the inaugural ‘Tennis on the Racetrack’, at Imola 2023, Berrettini will be one of the stars dazzling the fans. Leading up to the event, we will follow him with even greater attention, aware that we have found a champion with a Formula 1 engine, capable of conquering pole position at every tennis stage.


PLACE/DATE OF BIRTH: Rome, 12.04.1996

DOMINANT HAND: right-handed

BACKHAND: two-handed

HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 196 cm/95 kg



ATP TITLES: 5 (Gstaad 2018, Stuttgart and Budapest 2019, Belgrade and Queen’s 2021)

BEST SLAM PERFORMANCES: Wimbledon final 2021, Us Open semifinal 2019

CAREER PRIZE MONEY: $8,586,516 dollars

OTHER PRIZES: ATP Most improved player of the year in 2019

COACHES: Vincenzo Santopadre, Marco Gulisano, Umberto Rianna

NICKNAME: Mat – The Hammer


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