Lea Pericoli

This article is part of our Italian Week on Tennis Buzz.

If you’re not Italian, you’ve probably never heard of Lea Pericoli.

Born in 1935, she reached the last sixteen of the French Open four times and the Wimbledon Championships once, but she became more famous because of her clothes than for her tennis.

“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”

Lea Pericoli

In the 50s, Lea Pericoli shocked the English fans with her short skirt, sheer underslip and frilly underpants. At the 54 Rome tournament, she played in very short, buddy-hugging shorts and high-fitting sleeveless top that left little to the imagination.
In 1955, Pericoli played at the Wimbledon Championships wearing clothes designed by Teddy Tinling. Her clothing generated so much interest in later years, that it was kept secret until her appearances on the court.

Lea Pericoli

At the end of her tennis career, she became a leading tennis journalist and television commentator in Italy.
She is a Fed Cup Ambassador for Italy, representing the Italian Federation at all Fed Cup by BNP Paribas ties where their team is playing.

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