Italian Andreas Seppi and his wife, Michela Bernardi Seppi, welcomed their first child, Liv Bernardi Seppi, on 20 February in Colorado, where they own a residence. As exciting as it was, Seppi planned to return to action in Miami.
Little did he know that he’d still be home with his wife and daughter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a really new experience and of course very interesting. In the end, it was nice to be with my wife and my baby girl the whole time to see how she’s been evolving and getting bigger. Now she’s starting to laugh and she’s a little more into things, so it’s very nice,” Seppi told ATPTour.com. “The first weeks you can’t do a lot because she needs to sleep and to eat and that’s it. It’s not that you could do much as a father, I would say.
“I think the most interesting thing to see is in two months, she got a lot bigger and she’s started to laugh a little bit. You talk to her and she looks at you now, so you feel like she’s getting more interested in what’s going on around her.”
Andreas Seppi: From Italy To… Colorado?
Seppi and his wife are both Italian, and one thing this pandemic has limited is their ability to introduce their daughter to relatives. Bernardi Seppi’s parents arrived in Colorado just after Liv was born, but they returned after eight days, right before Italy went into lockdown due to the virus.
“They were lucky to come here at least for a bit and then they went back and everything had to be closed. We had that experience here and that was it. Of course it would be nice to have some people you know around, especially with the baby,” Seppi said. “But we’re in a perfect place, we love it here. It’s almost better to be here than in Italy because at least we can go out and go for a hike on our property. We have a lot of outdoor space, so I think it’s almost better to be here right now.”
The couple first visited Colorado when Seppi’s wife wanted to earn a Master’s degree at the University of Colorado. They immediately enjoyed the state, and in December 2017 bought a house in Boulder, where they own about 60 acres of land. Seppi says as tough as it is not being with family due to the pandemic, it has worked out.
“[In Italy] you can’t really do anything. You have to stay in the house,” Seppi said. “If you don’t have a garden or something there you are stuck in the apartment all the time. We have no neighbours around, we are pretty isolated, so in this kind of situation I think it’s for sure very good.”
That didn’t make it any easier to see the struggle his home country has gone through. According to Johns Hopkins’ Coronavirus Resource Center, 22,745 people have passed away due to COVID-19 in Italy as of 17 April.
“I think it’s bad everywhere. I think Italy got hit really [bad] at the beginning, so all the focus was on Italy. Now other places are also in a worse position, so it’s tough to see for the country and the problem is nobody knows how long this is going to last and when we’ll go back to normal routines. I think that’s the most scary thing,” Seppi said. “If they say in one month everything’s going to be over, it would be great, but every week they’re going to prolong the quarantine.”
In Colorado, Seppi has shared on social media that there has been plenty of snow, giving him a natural way to exercise: shovelling.
“We have a lot of snow. The past couple days it was snowing nonstop. I haven’t seen this much snow in a while. I heard that Boulder is the city with the most snow in the United States this year,” Seppi said. “Snow shovelling, it’s happening almost every week now, and that keeps me in shape for sure. It’s good strength exercise.
“I can work out at home, I go for runs sometimes. You also can’t work out like crazy like in the off-season because you don’t know how long this is going to last. You can’t practise fully for months, especially at my age. If I was 20 years old, that would be different.
“Maybe Jannik Sinner, he’s 18, if he works out three months heavily I think it’s okay. But for me I like to be a little bit more careful about my body. Of course I try to remain in shape and I do some exercises, but I don’t do it like in the off-season, I do it to maintain a certain level of activity. That’s the most important thing.”
Throughout this unprecedented period, Seppi has been able to enjoy fatherhood.
“She’s just two months old, so you wouldn’t go for a bicycle ride or skiing. At the end, for her it doesn’t make a big difference,” Seppi said of the pandemic. “Of course for me and for my wife, we’d be in Europe now and maybe going around a little bit and seeing some different things. From that side, it’s different. But for the baby’s side it doesn’t matter a lot.
“She’s pretty quiet, she’s not crying a lot and she’s also sleeping now six, seven hours in a row, which makes it pretty easy at night. On that side, we were pretty lucky.”