Gaio Last Italian Standing At Val Gardena Challenger

Federico Gaio (photo: Diego Runggaldier)


Federico Gaio lived up to his favorite status in the quarterfinals of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Südtirol. The tournament’s third seed won the all-Italian clash against Luca Giacomini 7-6(3), 7-6(2), becoming the only seeded player to reach the semi-finals at South Tyrol’s premier tennis event.

Gaio started in style with a break in the opening game, but Giacomini, as in his previous matches, fought for every ball, showcased excellent tennis, and leveled the score at 3-3. The first set was decided in a tie-break, which the favorite secured. In the second set, Giacomini began with a break, but Gaio leveled at 2-2 this time. He took a 5-3 lead and served for the match, but he conceded the break and had to fend off three consecutive break points at 5-5, 0-40. In the tiebreak, Gaio took a commanding 6-0 lead and converted the third match point after 1 hour and 53 minutes in a high-quality and thrilling match.

“Giacomini plays very well on this surface; he applies pressure and makes few mistakes, so it wasn’t easy. But I served well in the first set, and even at 5-5 in the second set, I did well. I dozed off a bit when I was leading 5-4,” said Gaio.

Gaio will face Poland’s Maks Kasnikowski in the stage of the last four on Saturday. The second semi-final will feature qualifier Lukas Klein from Slovakia against Billy Harris from Great Britain.

Friday Results