One of the game’s great photographers, Luigi Serra, has died at the age of 80 from COVID-19 after being hospitalised for 15 days in Chicago.
I come to your house and you make me a Florentine steak! Otherwise, no photos! Luigi Serra
Always cheerful, with a unique sense of humour, Serra worked in the sport he loved for many years, developing his two passions, tennis and photography after abandoning a career in engineering.
Born in Florence, Italy, Serra moved to the US many years ago to follow his dreams and had a home in California, near Palm Springs as well as Chicago.
According to his friend and colleague, Ubaldo Scanagatta of Ubitennis, Serra went back to Florence, with his wife Bonnie every year to enjoy a ‘real Florentine steak’.
For years he sent photos from Indian Wells to New York, and Roland Garros where he asked Scanagatta to get him a media accreditation, asking: “I come to your house and you make me a Florentine steak! Otherwise, no photos!”.
It became a game repeated a thousand times – “Luigi, I don’t like this picture, no steak!”
Smiling, mixing Italian and American slang, Serra was congenial and had an alert eye, and could blurt out anything, but was always genuine and spontaneous in his approach.
He had friends everywhere and knew everybody that matters in the game.
Serra leaves his wife Bonnie and two sons Alessandro and Gianluca, plus a tribe of grandchildren in Isabella, Gabriella, Daniela, Lexi and Vincent, and a host of marvellous images.