Pi News –
It’s not unusual for a Pope to praise a sinner, but an Italian tennis grand slam winner is even more rare.
So Pope Francis had to add his Holy voice to the chorus of congratulations for Giannic Sinner, the first Italian to win the tennis title in 48 years.
A Vatican statement said Francis praised Sinner during an audience with members of a tennis club in Barcelona.
“We have to congratulate the Italians because they won in Australia yesterday,” the 87-year-old pope, whose most famous sporting passion is soccer, said in an unscripted speech on Monday.
Sinner, 22, overcame Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final on Sunday, overcoming a two-set deficit to win 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3.
Pope Francis himself is Argentinian (last won by Juan Martin del Potro in 2009, US Open), but is also the Bishop of Rome with the Vatican City base of the Holy See located in Italian territory.