TODriano Panatta, did you hear what Serena Grandi said on the radio, in A sheep’s day? «Maybe it will dry up, but Panatta remained in my heart».
“That’s why you’re calling? I’m a private person.”
At 72, isn’t he nostalgic for the roaring days when he racked up victories on the tennis courts and was even considered a playboy?
«I’m nostalgic for the age of that time, yes. It is better that they speak well and not badly.’
The one with Serena would be a remarkable record, given that the diva said she had one hundred men. Are you flattered or embarrassed?
«But 40 years have passed… I feel like laughing».
Serena said, “He was thirty, he was crazy cool.” How did she see herself?
“This is madness! I was pricey like so many others. I know from some elderly lady who still stops me – very few ladies – that someone kept my poster in their bedroom. I answer: let’s hope that you have removed it ».
He got married at 25. Eva Express headlined: crying fans storm and kiss him.
«Already at the time they wrote nonsense…».
If he was 30 with Serena, was he married or am I wrong?
“It was a prank.”
Duration two years, according to the actress.
“Honestly, I don’t remember, but it seems impossible to me. I know my wife found out a long time later.’
Before the wedding, Loredana Bertè, Mita Medici, the sister of Lea Pericoli, Laura, and the model Michela Cavaliere are his exes.
“More or less. But who told him about Michela?».
I documented myself.
“Is there any documentation on these things?”
Quite simply the newspaper archives. Her file, under the heading Bertè, narrates «a Sicilian-like kidnapping: while she was performing almost topless at the Roof Garden in Alassio, he gave her a dry aut aut: either me or the dance».
“What a deadly phony story! I met her when she was very young and was a dancer. It was ’72 or ’73, I was engaged to Mita Medici: beautiful, very talented actress, I have wonderful memories of her. But, one evening, Loredana arrived at the restaurant with Mita, they made theater together. I saw her go into her monkey fur and she hit me right away.’
Did he already dress with the eccentricity we know?
«Kill… I thought she was naked underneath. Instead, they were hot pants. I behaved very badly with Mita: I courted Loredana that same evening. I’m still ashamed of it.”
Going back to the kidnapping?
«Loredana exhibited dressed one cannot imagine how. It was full of blowflies making pointed comments. Every night, she had to argue. To which, I told her: that’s enough, do another job. She gave in through weariness: I didn’t kidnap her. Instead, it was I who took her to her first audition as a singer: she didn’t want to. She tells it again: we are very good friends ».
Sister Mia Martini told: it is an Othello and forbids Loredana mini and shorts.
“But it’s not true. Sometimes I’ve said to her: wear long pants every now and then.’
Among the alleged flirts: the swimmer Novella Calligaris.
“But when ever.”
Another: Clarissa Burt.
«Yes, I met her…She was very nice».
Did he really want to marry Laura Pericoli at 18?
«So young that I understood?».
How did the gossip about her affect her?
“I traveled a lot, it’s not like I knew everything that came out.”
Tell me if you’ve read this: a rich suitor of Loredana enters the cafe in Via Veneto where you had breakfast, takes a brioche and dips it in Loredana’s cappuccino. She, like a true gentleman, pretends nothing has happened.
«If it had happened, like a true gentleman, I’d give him two pizzas, for sure. Two slaps in the face.”
In 1989, Loredana will marry Björn Borg and she told it like this: «At Roland Garros, Adriano told me “do du’ pallate a’ sto Swede and let’s go to dinner”. That Nordic was as beautiful as the sun and he immediately wanted to meet me ».
«Impossible: he wasn’t there at Roland Garros. And does it seem to you that a 23-year-old looked at a 16-year-old?”
Why did it end between you two?
“I met my first wife. A student: 40 years together, three children».
Marriage did her good: she had a magical 1976, won Internationals, Roland Garros, Davis Cup.
“It didn’t hurt me.”
Now, he has been married since 2020 to Anna Bonamigo, a lawyer. What does his wife say about his past as a playboy?
«He asks me the questions you ask me and I answer: forget it. Out of love for her, I went to live in Treviso, where I opened a tennis club. And I’m very happy with my relationship situation.
How did the «Panatta tuft» that was so much imitated by its peers come about?
“I’ve always done my hair like this, even today.”
And how did he hold up the tuft? Does it dye it?
“But imagine if I dye myself… I have all my hair: only that has remained the same”.