Deacon “Sportlight”: Filippo Moroni


Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

Moroni and the rest of the tennis team travel to play South Carolina on Thursday.

Christina Denovio, Sports Editor

A sophomore on the Wake Forest Men’s Tennis team, Filippo Moroni is also a part of an international squad that has been dominant this season. Originally from Valenza, Italy, Moroni traveled a long way to Winston-Salem last spring to join one of the top college tennis programs in the country. On Sunday, Wake Forest won matches against No. 7 Georgia and NC Central, continuing their strong start to the season. 

With No. 10 Wake Forest currently boasting a 13-1 record, there is pressure on every player to perform so that the Demon Deacons can keep their sitting position. Moroni has proven himself as an asset to the team during the 2022 season by racking up six wins at singles with only two losses. Twice already the deciding match has come down to Moroni, and in one of those two, he was able to propel his team to a win against No. 16 Michigan. At doubles, Moroni and his partner Eduaurdo Nava are undefeated through four matches. 

Christina DeNovio: Did you have a favorite tennis player growing up? 

Filippo Moroni: When I was young, my favorite player was Rafael Nadal, and then I switched to Roger Federer. Now, it’s still Roger. 

CD: How did you choose Wake Forest? 

FM: I was playing at the Junior US Open in 2018, and it was there I first spoke to the Wake Forest coach, Tony Bresky. After we spoke, nothing really happened. It’s not that I wasn’t interested, it’s just that I wasn’t focused on the idea of college. And then I went to a tournament in Greece and someone gave my number to Bresky, and then we started talking and I came to visit. They recruited me because I was good as a junior. I visited Wake Forest and Clemson in September 2019. I was talking with other colleges, but I chose Wake Forest in the end. I’m really happy about the choice I made. If I could go back I would choose Wake Forest again. The program is good and the coach is good. 

The team is very good overall. Even if you take out the tennis stuff, the team is very close. There is no beef between us. We always spend time together, so it’s actually very nice to have them around even when we’re not playing. I had already known two of my teammates since we were about 13 years old. We had played tournaments together when we were younger. 

CD: How was the cultural shift moving from Italy to the United States? 

FM: It was actually a lot more different than I expected. First of all, the food was different — that was a big one. Another thing is that in America, everything seems faster, and everything is more advanced. I would see people using iPhones and new computers. If you go to Italy the technology is sometimes pretty old. The other difference I noticed is the way that people act towards each other. It is strange because in Italy people can be mean or rude to try and make themselves look better. If I want to be like the cool guy and there is someone that I don’t like, then I’m going to say bad things about him or act tough. I feel like in America, everything is more respectful. People know how to act better in a group of people and be more polite. 

CD: What’s your favorite part of being on the tennis team? 

FM: The fact that I get to play is something I really like. Also, the fact that I can always count on someone. Any new student can come here with nothing and make friends. I feel like, even in the worst of situations, I know that I always have my team. If something’s going on or things are hard, I always have someone that I can talk to about it because I spend most of my time with my teammates. 

We have so many international guys — it’s always nice to get to see how different people act in different situations. To always be with someone, it’s something that I think helps, especially when your life changes because you’re in a new place and you don’t know the language very well. In the beginning, being by yourself, you can do stuff with someone that you can count on every day. It’s really good — it gives you help and security. 

CD: Do you prefer doubles or singles? 

FM: I like both of them very much. If I had to choose, probably singles because I play by myself. But doubles is very, very fun, and I actually enjoy doubles a lot. 

CD: How do you prepare on match day? 

FM: Right before the match, I like to be by myself. I like to be alone and I try to focus. I’ll talk to the coaches and see if they know the guy that I’m playing against. Leading up to match day, I try to spend as much time with the team as possible because we help each other a lot. On the day of the match, music is something that helps me a lot. Before the match, I’m always listening to music and I just try to focus. 

CD: Are there any teams on the schedule that you’re especially excited about playing? 

FM: The entire team in general — myself included — is excited to play Ohio State, since we lost against them in the NCAA tournament last year. 

CD: What’s been your favorite Wake Forest tennis memory so far? 

FM: I think the clinching point the other day against Michigan when I won the match. It felt really good, especially because I lost three days earlier in Tennessee. It was the same situation — I was supposed to clinch that match and I didn’t. And then to do it at home, it felt very, very good. Everyone was pretty excited. At that moment, I really saw how close we are as a group. We are actually really nice and supportive to each other. 

CD: What’s your favorite thing to do with your teammates outside of tennis? 

FM: My favorite thing is when we go out to dinner. We have so much fun. The team is from so many different countries and there are so many cultures mixed together — it makes it fun. We make fun of each other in a good way. Dinner’s really fun, especially when everyone can make it and everybody’s together because sometimes someone has to study or is too busy. Especially the days before the big matches, we always have a team dinner in order to build up the team and to get us ready for the next day. 

CD: Do you have aspirations to play professional tennis? 

FM: Yes, absolutely. That’s the main goal after college. I’m still far away because I still have three years to finish. 

CD: What’s your major? Do you know what you want to do after tennis? 

FM: I’m a communications major. I’m not sure what I want to end up doing. I am pretty sure I want to stay in the tennis world. I’ve been playing tennis since I was four, so I actually really like tennis in general. I don’t know for sure because I can say something now and it can change tomorrow. Anything can happen. 

My dad always told me to study because I could get injured tomorrow or because I can’t play tennis for the rest of my life. You’ve got to have a plan B. If everything goes as planned and I go professional, then I definitely want to stay in the tennis world.