Gigante Leads Italian Trio Into Tenerife Challenger 2 Semis

Matteo Gigante (photo: Alejandro Fumero/MEF Tennis Events)

GUIA DE ISORA/STARNBERG, February 23, 2024

Three Italians have reached the semi-finals of the Tenerife Challenger 2 being held this week at the Abama Tennis Resort. Matteo Gigante, champion of the ATP Challenger Tour 75 hard-court event on the biggest of the Canary Islands last year, defeated his compatriot and lucky loser Salvatore Caruso 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.

Fifth-seeded Gigante won 73 per cent of his first-service points and broke his rival five times to secure victory in one hour and 43 minutes.

“I played very well in the first and third set,” Gigante said afterwards. “Salvatore raised his level in the second, and we fought hard. It wasn’t easy. With my coach Marco Gulisano, we’re working a lot on my attitude during matches, and I’m starting to see results.

“The match against Maestrelli? He serves very well and is very dangerous, especially on these courts. Last year we faced each other in the quarterfinals of the Tenerife Challenger 1, and I lost, so I’ll have to give 100 per cent again to reach the final.”

Gigante will take on Francesco Maestrelli of Italy, who edged past US-American Martin Damm 7-6(4), 6-2 in one hour and 41 minutes.

In the top half of the draw, Frenchman Jules Marie continued his fine run of form by beating Portuguese alternate Henrique Rocha 6-3, 7-5. The World No. 221, who knocked out top seed Zsombor Piros of Hungary, won 56 per cent of the total points played to prevail after one hour and 38 minutes.

Marie will next play Italian Stefano Travaglia, who benefited from the retirement against Slovakia’s Jozef Kovalik. The 32-year-old Ascoli Piceno native was leading 7-5, 3-6, 3-0 when Kovalik was forced to stop playing due to a left ankle injury.


Quarterfinals – Singles

Jules Marie def. Henrique Rocha (Alt) 6-3 7-5

Stefano Travaglia def. Jozef Kovalik 7-5 3-6 3-0 ret.

Francesco Maestrelli def. Martin Damm 7-6(4) 6-2

Matteo Gigante (5) def. Salvatore Caruso (LL) 6-3 1-6 6-2