The strict Rome Masters virus lockdown scenario will prevent Coco Gauff from making a lightning trip 450 kms north to the good-eating city of Parma for a courtesy visit to Italian sponsor Barilla.
The pasta powerhouse also counts Roger Federer as an elite brand ambassador. Due to his Swiss passport, Federer was easily able to travel to Italy for a well-received video this summer which went viral as he hit with a pair of Italian teenaged girls across rooftops near Genoa.
But Gauff is handcuffed by tournament restrictions and will not be able to leave the Rome tournament bio-bubble.
The 16-year-old expressed disappointment after reaching the second round at the Foro Italico with a straight-sets defeat of Ons Jabeur.
“I probably won’t be able to go to Parma because of Corona, but if Corona wasn’t here, I definitely would have gone,” she said. “I was able to visit the Barilla headquarters last year. Right after my Wimbledon, we took a one-day trip and it’s really cool.
“It was cool to see how the pasta is made in the factory.
“Hopefully next year when Corona is hopefully not here anymore, I’ll be able to go visit the headquarters again.”
To compensate, the teen said she has been doing her bit to support her sponsor.
“We’re not really allowed to go anywhere (save the hotel and Foro Italico tennis venue) but I’ve been ordering delivery. Ordering a lot of pasta.
“I’m not sure my favorite style of pasta. Honestly, I like all the pasta.
“It definitely tastes better in Italy than it does in the US. In America we overcook our pasta a little bit, so I like it here.”