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ATP Pro Federico Luzzi Passes Away

Federico Luzzi reached a career-high No. 92 in February 2002.© Getty ImagesFederico Luzzi reached a career-high No. 92 in February 2002.

Italian ATP pro Federico Luzzi died Saturday morning in a Florence, Italy hospital. The 28-year-old went to a hospital for an illness earlier this week and was discovered with a acute case of leukemia. He went into an irreversible coma Saturday morning, and passed away soon after.

World No. 2 Roger Federer said, "I want to offer my condolences to his family. I knew Federico since 15 years old, a long time. It’s very tragic and sad to hear the news. He was a very entertaining player. I always loved to watch him. Unfortunately we did not play against one another on the tour, but I will remember him as a nice and funny guy. I think that is most important."

"Speaking on behalf of myself and the tennis family, we have lost a fellow competitor and friend," said Mark Knowles. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Federico Luzzi and his family. It’s a tragic event and we’re thinking about them."

ATP Chairman Etienne de Villiers said, "Losing a young man so tragically in the prime of his life, a son to a loving family and a great sportsman is a terrible blow. Federico was hugely respected by his fellow professionals and was one of the most popular players on the ATP Tour. Federico will be much missed by all who knew him and the thoughts and the prayers of everyone at the ATP are with Federico's family on this very sad day for tennis."

Luzzi, a native of Arezzo, Italy, turned pro in 1998 and he compiled his best season in 2001 when he finished with a year-end high No. 96. That year he reached the quarterfinals in Barcelona, his best ATP result, and won two Challenger titles. He also made his Davis Cup debut. On February 11, 2002 he reached a career-high No. 92 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.

This year Luzzi attempted to qualify in three ATP level tournaments and he competed in seven Challengers, playing his last event in Napoli, Italy last month.

He is survived by his father, Maurizio; mother, Paola; and older sister, Francesca.

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