Adriano Panatta was born in Rome on 9 July 1950. It was his father Ascenzio, the caretaker at Tennis Club Parioli, who gave him his first racket. Panatta made his debut on the circuit in 1968, at the age of 18, and retired in 1983, after winning 10 singles and 17 doubles tournaments. The most magical year of his career was 1976, when he emerged victorious at the Italian Open, originally called Italian International Championships, Roland Garros, which makes him the last Italian male to win a Grand Slam tournament, and in Italy’s first and only Davis Cup victory. In that year he reached a world ranking of number four, the highest ever achieved by an Italian male player. Panatta also recorded 23 victories against top ten players during his career, which is the highest of any Italian tennis player.