Beloved WTA and ATP physiotherapist Alessio Ceccarelli has died after a short illness in his hometown of Pisa, Italy.
Ceccarelli's career spanned both the WTA and ATP Tours. On the WTA Tour, Ceccarelli worked with Laura Siegemund, Andrea Petkovic, Elina Svitolina, Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta. He was also the longtime physio for retired Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov and worked with Korea's Hyeon Chung.
"It all seems so absurd to me," Pennetta wrote on Instagram, under a photo of Ceccarelli celebrating with Team Italy during the 2010 Billie Jean King Cup final, which Italy won 3-1 over the United States. "I like to remember you like this ... with the sound of your unforgettable laugh! Goodbye Polli, I love you."
Pennetta's former doubles partner, Gisela Dulko, and Billie Jean King Cup teammate Sara Errani also expressed their condolences in the comments.
“I cannot believe this news. I am so sad to hear this,” Dolgopolov said. “He was my friend and he looked after me for many years. Alessio had such a positive attitude, and this is hard to believe.”
The 38-year-old Italian leaves behind his partner Barbora, father Alfredo, mother Daniela and brother Daniele.