Matteo Berrettini is on course to make it a double Italian celebration on Sunday after reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon.
While Italy’s football team have already booked their place in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, Rome-born Berrettini is one match away from a place in the Centre Court showpiece 12 miles down the road.
The 25-year-old Fiorentina fan won his quarter-final shoot-out with Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3 5-7 7-5 6-3 and will face Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, the conqueror of Roger Federer, in the last four.
Berrettini watched Italy’s win over Spain on penalties with his friend Auger-Aliassime on Tuesday night.
He said: “It was such a nice time with Felix. I think it’s so great to have such a relationship, and then we can just play our best, you know, during the match and respect each other.
“Also hanging out outside of the court is something that’s not that common and I really appreciate the fact that it’s happening. Best of luck for him.
“It was so stressful, so stressful. I think Spain had more possession of the ball, and I think they had more occasions to score and stuff. But we were tough.”
Berrettini underlined his grass court credentials by winning at Queen’s Club last month.
He added: “I’m really happy. I mean, playing Hubert is going to be really tough. He beat Daniil Medvedev, he beat Roger, and he’s feeling good. He’s having a great season so far, so it’s gonna be a tough one.
“Right now I just want to enjoy this moment, because it’s been two years since I was in my first semis, so now it’s time to cheer a little bit.”
Berrettini’s huge serve, which regularly booms down at 135mph, quickly cranked into gear while 16th seed Auger-Aliassime started nervously and found himself a double-break down in the first set.
The Canadian pulled one back when Berrettini let three set points slip, only to falter in the very next game.
The duo exchanged breaks early in the second set but Auger-Aliassime grabbed the crucial one at 5-5 and served out with a pair of aces to level the match.
However, at 6-5 in the third it was the 20-year-old from Montreal who blinked first, seventh seed Berrettini unleashing his destructive forehand to go back in front.
The momentum was firmly with the higher-ranked player, who held and then broke for 2-0 when Auger-Aliassime dumped a volley into the net.
His victory was momentarily delayed by a net cord on match point but moments later he was celebrating a place in the last four.
Auger-Aliassime said: “Credit to him because I think he really deserves it. He’s shown how consistent he is over the last few weeks. He just won in Queen’s. He deserves to be in the semi-finals right now.”