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First Serve: A new tradition began this year at the Miami Open [Video]

First Serve: A new tradition began this year at the Miami Open [Video]

Itaú Unibanco is continuing its 17-year partnership with the Miami Open and recently celebrated with a contract renewal until 2028. To mark the occasion, the bank launched a new tradition at the tournament — carried out for the first time in tennis history.

This tradition, which will continue for future editions of the Miami Open, is the ceremonial first serve, named "Serves of the Future." The individual chosen to perform this milestone was the young tennis player Rafael Padilha, an athlete from the Rede Tênis Brasil social project, an initiative supported by the bank. The first serve took place during the Miami Open at the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins.

Photo Credit: Gabo Bucheli

Hailing from Vila Kadi, Porto Alegre, Padilha is 18 years old and began his tennis journey at the age of nine. His first contact with the sport occurred through the Rede Tênis Brasil project. The eldest of eight siblings, Padilha is now preparing to earn a scholarship at an American university, a goal that will be achieved through tennis and educational encouragement reinforced by this social project.

In 2023, also through the Rede Tênis Brasil, Padilha visited the backstage and trained on the courts of the Miami Open, having the opportunity to meet his main idols - including Carlos Alcaraz, current world number 2 and protagonist of the Itaú Personnalité campaign; and Brazilians Bia Haddad Maia, sponsored by the bank since 2022, and Thiago Andrade.

Photo Credit: Gabo Bucheli

In this year's Miami Open, the young player not only took part in this historic moment at the tournament but also had the chance to exchange shots with another idol: Ronaldo (former football player and number 9 jersey).

And to immortalize the "Serve of the Future," the action created and orchestrated in partnership with the agency, also includes a 60-second film that can be viewed below.

Source: Itaú Unibanco

"We believe that sports have the power to transform people's lives, which is why this is such a strong pillar of action at Itaú. Our support ranges from projects that use sports as a means of developing Brazilian children and youth to those focused on high performance, such as the Miami Open. Among the supported social actions, we have Rede Tênis Brasil, Bola Dentro, Instituto Guga Kuerten, and Tênis para Todos Paraisópolis. We are proud to also be alongside the talented Brazilian tennis player Bia Haddad Maia since 2023, demonstrating our commitment to contribute to the growth of the category in the country and promote the development of young athletes," says Eduardo Tracanella, Marketing Director of Itaú Unibanco.


Source: Itaú UnibancoPhoto Credit: Gabo Bucheli. Editor's Note: For more information on the First Serve and Rafael Padilha, check out our exclusive interview with Padilha last week.

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