Giacomini Upsets Marchenko At Val Gardena Challenger

Luca Giacomini beats Illya Marchenko (photo: Diego Runggaldier)

ORTISEI/STARNBERG, October 26, 2023

Luca Giacomini continued his excellent run of form at the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Südtirol. The 25-year-old qualifier from Italy has reached the quarterfinals of the ATP Challenger Tour 50 hard-court tournament in Ortisei after securing his fourth victory.

On Thursday afternoon, in the most thrilling and longest match of the tournament so far, Giacomini eliminated former Top-50 player Illya Marchenko from Ukraine 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5) after two hours and 38 minutes. The match was characterized by numerous long rallies. Giacomini lost his first service game and subsequently the first set. However, in the second set, the World No. 699 broke his opponent’s serve three times in a row. In the third set, the underdog fell behind 2-4, but he managed to break back for 4-4 and played a fabulous tie-break, winning 7-5 after leading 5-1, securing the victory with his third match point.

“He might not be the best player I’ve defeated in my career, but this is certainly my most significant victory,” said Giacomini, who has reached the quarterfinals at a Challenger tournament for the first time. Marchenko captured his 10th Challenger career title at the Hamburg Ladies & Gents Cup last week and was considered the favorite.

“When I was behind in the third set, I just kept telling myself I have to play point by point and make a break,” Giacomini said after the match.

The Padova native will next take on Federico Gaio, who rallied past fellow Italian Francesco Forti 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 39 minutes.

In other action, Enrcico Dalla Valle knocked out top seed Abdulla Shelbayh of Jordan 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 314th ranked Italian alternate fired 17 aces and won 80 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 51 minutes. Up next for Dalla Valle will be Slovakian qualifier Lukas Klein.

Thursday Results