Rossetti brothers break world record
If you haven’t heard this story, it is certainly an incredible one.
Angelo and his twin brother, Ettore Rossetti, set the Guineess world record for the longest sustained tennis rally at 25,944 consecutive hits on August 10th, 2008. It took over 14 and a half hours and will help raise money for four charities: the ALS Association, Save the Children, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation. They are trying to raise $25,944 to match the number of strokes from this year’s rally.
Back in 2007 the journey began, but the brothers fell short of breaking the UK-held record. This time they hit 1,248 strokes over the previous record and it lasted four hours longer. They used the same Penn 4 tennis ball continously in play from 9:30am to midnight without breaks for water, food or the restroom. By the end of the rally, the ball was worn down to its dark brown rubber surface.
Breaking a record like this is more about mental toughness then anything else. Here are some of the strategies they used:
- We emphasized 2 words: focus and footwork
- For about 5k strokes, from 15k-20k, I repeated softly out loud and in my mind “under the ball” and “over the net” and a “c’mon” for motivation
- We removed the word “miss” from our vocabulary entering into August 9th (IF the word entered our minds we thought about “focus” and “footwork” or something positive
- We had photos of our families on the court for additional moral support
- Ettore hit with a continental grip and I hit with an Eastern so that his underspin would counteract my topspin
- We continued the pattern of hitting forehands. We started the point with 1 serve, hit 1 backhand and 25,942 forehands
- To push us to continue at the end we had to use the charities and our friends and family to endure the “self-induced” food and liquid deprivation. We put others before ourselves.
- Focusing on hitting to a specific destination on the court right around the service line was key to creating a rhythm.
- Staying positive the entire time and removing any self doubt that creates in is so important.
- As James Blake once said, “If you can win one set you can win two,” we thought “If we can hit one shot we can hit 25,000.
- We made a pact to each other to commit to: I wouldn’t miss if he wouldn’t miss; he wouldn’t miss if I wouldn’t miss. We held true to our commitment as neither one of us missed as we let the ball pass.
- As part of our training for 9 months to 1 year we taught tennis 12-14 hours straight on the weekends without breaks to prepare for the lack of food, water or breaks for the world record.
- Ettore taught 12-14 hours straight on Saturdays and Angelo taught 12 hours straight on Sundays as part of the preparation to simulate the world record conditions.
For more information on the Rossetti’s brother amazing accomplishment or to donate to their charities visit their website!
Angelo just recently met Nick at an event at the MAC Club in Massachusetts and here are some photos: