|Birth Day:||August 16, 1990|
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She qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Born in Rovigo, Menegatti grew up in Ariano nel Polesine and hails from a sporting family. Her father Maurizio was an amateur footballer, while her mother Cinzia was an indoor volleyball player in the Serie C, the fifth tier of the Italian volleyball league system. Her younger brother Pietro is a footballer who has played as a goalkeeper for various Serie C and D clubs. Her mother described her as a quiet and resolute child. After trying out various sports including synchronised swimming and dance, Menegatti began playing indoor volleyball at the age of nine. She first played for a youth team in Taglio di Po, then later for a team in Jolanda di Savoia where her mother coached. In 2004, prior to her 14th birthday, Menegatti successfully tried out for the indoor volleyball club ASD Teodora Ravenna. She thus moved to Ravenna and spent the next five years playing in the Serie B1 and B2, the third and fourth tier of the Italian volleyball league system respectively.
Menegatti made her international debut on the Challenger and Satellite circuit in August 2006, where she and her partner Debora Pini placed ninth at the $10K Eboli Satellite tournament. From 2006 to 2008, Menegatti was paired with various partners to represent Italy at the annual U20 European, U19 World and U21 World Championships. She won her first international medal in the age-group category when she and Gilda Lombardo were runners-up at the 2007 edition of the U19 World Championships.
In the summer of 2009, at the age of 19, Menegatti was offered a spot on the Italian beach volleyball national team. She quit indoor volleyball to focus solely on the beach game. National team coach Lissandro Carvalho introduced her to Greta Cicolari, and the two began competing together on the Challenger and Satellite circuit, winning one silver and three bronze medals in 2009. Menegatti and Cicolari debuted in their first FIVB World Tour event at the $190K Barcelona Open in September. They defeated Rebecca Moskowitz and Kristina May of Canada in three sets to qualify for the double-elimination main draw, eventually finishing 13th after losing to Shelda Bede and Ana Paula Connelly of Brazil in the third round of the losers bracket. One month later at the $190K Sanya Open, the pair came through the qualifiers and upset two of the top-three seeds on their way to the semifinals where they lost to Angie Akers and Tyra Turner of the United States. They became the first Italian women's team to advance to a semifinal on the World Tour since 2001, and the third overall in the tour's 18-year history. They concluded their first year as teammates ranked No. 43 in the world.
In May 2010, Menegatti and Cicolari competed in their first World Tour major event at the $300K Rome Grand Slam, where they were knocked out by eventual champions Jennifer Kessy and April Ross of the United States to tie for ninth. They did not manage better than ninth at the next four Grand Slams either. Towards the end of the season, Menegatti played with Valeria Rosso on the World Tour as Cicolari was recovering from a muscle strain. Menegatti and Rosso became the first Italian pair to reach a World Tour final at the $190K Phuket Open in November. Seeded 16th, they upset three of the top-ten seeds before falling to the fourth-seeded Nicole Branagh and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States in the gold-medal match. Despite Cicolari's absence, Menegatti and Cicolari ended the year with an improved world ranking of No. 23.
Menegatti and Cicolari medalled on the World Tour three times in 2011. The first was a silver medal at the $190K Myslowice Open in May, where they reached the finals as the No. 14 seeds with upsets over three of the top-five seeds, before falling to the sixth-seeded Dutch team of Sanne Keizer and Marleen van Iersel. In July, they entered the $300K Gstaad Grand Slam as the No. 5 seeds. They advanced to the semifinals undefeated, including a 19–21, 21–19, 15–11 quarterfinals win over the USA's third-seeded Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings. In the semifinals, they lost to the second-seeded Juliana Silva and Larissa França of Brazil, but came back the next day to beat another Brazilian team of Maria Elisa Antonelli and Talita Antunes to claim the bronze medal. Menegatti closed out the year by medalling at the $190K Phuket Open once again, this time with a third-place finish with Cicolari.
Menegatti graduated from secondary school with a diploma in accounting, specialising in foreign languages. She went on to enrol in the Faculty of Motor Sciences at the University of L'Aquila. She has been a member of the Centro Sportivo Aeronautica Militare since December 2009, with the current rank of 1st Chosen Airman (Italian: Primo Aviere Scelto), and as such receives a monthly stipend from the Italian Air Force. As members of the Air Force, Menegatti and Cicolari participated in the 2011 Military World Games. Menegatti is sponsored by Mikasa Sports (sports equipment), Oakley, Inc. (eyewear) and Adidas (sportswear); previous sponsors include Red Bull (energy drink) and Smart (automotive). She has also been a brand ambassador for Shiseido (beauty products) and Unet Energia Italiana (renewable energy).
Menegatti and Cicolari qualified for the London Olympics on 18 June 2012 via their Olympic ranking points. They were ranked No. 5 in the world at the time and were considered the tournament's dark horse due to their recent success on the World Tour. The duo went undefeated in the group stage. They rallied from a set down to win their first match against Russia's Ekaterina Birlova and Evgeniya Ukolova. This was followed by a 21–18, 21–12 victory over Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin of Great Britain. Their final group stage match saw them beat Marie-Andrée Lessard and Annie Martin of Canada in three sets to top their group with a 6–2 set record. They won their first knockout match against Spain's Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez to progress to the quarterfinals where they faced May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings. The Americans defeated them in straight sets, thus ending Menegatti and Cicolari's Olympic run. Menegatti was visibly upset during the quarterfinals match; she later explained that her tears were due to the frustration of losing, particularly to her hero May-Treanor.
Menegatti (together with her former coach Carvalho and another Italian beach volleyball player) submitted a series of complaints to the Public Prosecutor's Office of Bergamo in 2014, accusing Cicolari, and three other individuals associated with Cicolari, of stalking and harassment. According to the subsequent investigation, the accused parties had allegedly sent threats and insults via text and social media in the years following the acrimonious 2013 split between Menegatti and Cicolari. The case was brought to trial and, in November 2018, Menegatti testified in court that the alleged harassment was still ongoing and that she has had to see a psychologist to deal with the resulting anxiety. According to Menegatti, her corporate sponsors had also been sent emails that were "denigratory" towards her which caused her to lose a sponsor.
Carvalho returned as their coach in early 2015, and Menegatti and Orsi Toth started off the year with a bronze medal at the $300K Moscow Grand Slam in May. However, Menegatti was troubled by injuries in the first half of the season, and they could not repeat the Moscow feat in their next eight tournaments, failing to advance to the knockout stage in three of them. An abdominal problem also sidelined Menegatti from the 2015 European Championships in July. Their results got better in September when they won their first World Tour title at the $75K Sochi Open, coming back from a five-point deficit in the first set to beat Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Vergé-Dépré of Switzerland in two sets. The gold medal in Sochi made them the first Italian women's team to ever win a World Tour event. Menegatti and Orsi Toth went on to medal at their next two tournaments, with a bronze at the $75K Puerto Vallarta Open and a silver at the $75K Antalya Open. They were the eighth-ranked team in the world at the end of 2015.
Menegatti is a defender and a right-handed left-side player. Originally a right-side specialist, she switched over to the left when she played with Giombini at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and continued playing on the left since reuniting with Giombini—and later Orsi Toth—in 2018. La Gazzetta dello Sport's Mario Salvini praised Menegatti as one of the best technical players in the world in 2015, while OA Sport's Enrico Spada described her as a complete player in his preview of the Rio Olympics. According to Spada, she is able to impact games on defense such that she often wins points on her team's serve. Of the 88 players who competed in a Major Series main draw on the 2015 World Tour, Menegatti had the third highest serve efficiency, winning points on her serve over 43% of the time despite just 6.4% of her serves being aces. She was similarly ranked within the top four for serve efficiency in 2016. Olympic gold medalist Dain Blanton commented at the 2018 Vienna Major that one of Menegatti's strengths is her ability to turn backcourt defense into offensive plays. Prior to her post-Rio Olympics slump, she was regarded as one of the most consistent players on the international circuit.
Menegatti and Orsi Toth did not medal on the World Tour in 2016; their highest finish was a fourth at the $75K Sochi Open, as well as fifth-place finishes at three $400K Majors. They qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on 13 June 2016 via their Olympic ranking points. The pair were ranked No. 7 in the world at the time. On 2 August, three days before the start of the Olympics, Orsi Toth was found to have tested positive for the banned substance clostebol and was suspended from competition. Rebecca Perry, a professional indoor volleyball player who had transitioned to beach volleyball earlier that year, was initially selected by FIPAV as Orsi Toth's replacement. However, Perry was found by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) to be ineligible as she had not participated in sufficient qualifying tournaments. Instead, Laura Giombini, who Menegatti last played with at the 2010 U23 European Championships, was brought in as she was the only Italian athlete who met the FIVB's eligibility criteria. Giombini arrived in Rio three days before their first match was scheduled to take place.
At the end of 2016, Menegatti announced that Perry would be her new partner for the following season. The decision to team up with Perry, a 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) blocker, was made to allow Menegatti to return to her preferred position as a right-side defender. However, Menegatti and Perry struggled on the World Tour and did not manage better than a 17th place in nine tournaments. Their results saw Menegatti drop in the world rankings and the tandem were ranked No. 39 by the end of September. During this time, both Perry and Menegatti's longtime coach Carvalho left the national team programme. Carvalho was replaced by his coaching assistant, Terenzio Feroleto, in 2018.
Currently, Marta Menegatti is 30 years, 11 months and 13 days old. Marta Menegatti will celebrate 31st birthday on a Monday 16th of August 2021.
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