Milan - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi dropped his busy weekend schedule and headed to New York on Saturday for the first all-Italian women's final at the US Open.
Childhood friends Flavia Pennetta, 33, and Roberta Vinci, 32, will play for the women's title in the last grand slam tournament of the year.
Both reached the finals with surprise victories: Vinci beat top-seeded Serena Willliams - one of the biggest upsets in tennis history - and Pennetta overcame second-seeded Simona Halep. The unexpected achievement dominated the front pages of many Italian newspapers on Saturday.
"We love you" was the headline, written in English, in the main sports newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport. "Two normal Italian girls have already made history," said the headline in Corriere della Sera.
"Marvellous Flavia and Roberta!!!" Renzi wrote on Twitter.
The two players come from the heel of Italy, the southern region of Puglia. Renzi had been due to visit the area on Saturday, but instead, his office announced he would go to the United States to watch the Grand Slam final.
The tennis triumph follows a relatively lean period for Italian sport. The country failed to pick up a single medal in the recent world athletic championships and the national soccer team crashed out of last two World Cups at the group stages.