Lea Pericoli

Lea Pericoli

Lea Pericoli
Country  Italy
Born (1935-03-22) 22 March 1935 (age 79)
Milan, Italy
Prize money $
Career record
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open 4th round 1964
Wimbledon 4th round 1970
Career record
Last updated on: N/A.

Lea Pericoli (born 22 March 1935) is an Italian former tennis player and later television presenter and journalist from Milan.[1] She reached the last sixteen of the French Open four times and the Wimbledon Championships once, and is also famous for her choice of clothing.[2][3]

Early life

Family background

Pericoli married L. Fontana in 1965.[4]


Grand Slam

Pericoli reached the last sixteen of the French Championships singles in 1955, 1960 and 1964, and the French Open in 1971. She reached the last sixteen of the Wimbledon singles in 1970.


Partnered by Helga Schultze, Pericoli won the doubles title at the 1974 WTA Swiss Open, defeating Kayoko Fukuoka and Michelle Rodriguez 6–2, 6–0 in the final.

Fed Cup

Pericoli made her Fed Cup debut for Italy in its inaugural year, 1963, and represented Italy in nine years of the competition, winning 8 of her 16 singles matches and 7 of her 14 doubles matches.[4] Her last Fed Cup match was in 1975.

Italian championships

She won the Italian Championship in singles nine times, and, together with Sylvia Lazzarino, reached the final of the Italian Championships doubles six years consecutively from 1962 to 1967.[4]


In 1955, Pericoli played at the Wimbledon Championships wearing clothes designed by Teddy Tinling.[5] Her clothing generated so much interest in later years, that it was kept secret until her appearances on the court. In particular, her fur-lined clothing worn at the 1964 Wimbledon Championships caught the attention of observers.[2]

In 2001, the Sunday Mirror quoted Pericoli as saying "I became famous because of my clothes, not my playing." and "I didn't make any money from tennis, but if I'd been born 30 years later I would have become terribly rich like Anna Kournikova".[6]


Pericoli was awarded the Fed Cup Award of Excellence in 2007.[4][7]


Pericoli had a contract with Superga for modelling shoes.[8]


Pericoli was popular on Italian television in the 1970s,[9] presenting the programs Paroliamo and Caccia al Tesoro in addition to commentating tennis.


Pericoli was introduced to journalism by Indro Montanelli.[8] She worked as a tennis and fashion journalist.[10] She was a journalist for Il Giornale.[11]


Pericoli wrote the autobiographical book Maldafrica, which was published in Italian in 2009.[12] ISBN 978-88-317-9889-1


External links

  • Women's Tennis Association
  • International Tennis Federation