Passaro To Challenge Musetti For Piemonte Open Title

Francesco Passaro (photo: Francesco Panunzio)


Lorenzo Musetti and Francesco Passaro will meet in an all-Italian singles final at the second edition of the Piemonte Open Intesa Sanpaolo in Turin.

Musetti, top seed of the ATP Challenger Tour 175 clay-court event, has yet to drop a set in Turin. The World No. 29 won three matches in just over 24 hours. After his debut victory on Friday, the 22-year-old from Tuscany secured two more wins on Saturday: 6-1, 6-3 in the early afternoon against Brazilian Felipe Meligeni Alves and 7-5, 7-6(8) in the evening against compatriot Luciano Darderi, who had previously eliminated third seed Matteo Arnaldi of Italy.

The battle on the Stadium Court was intense, with Darderi starting strong, earning a 3-0 lead but Musetti quickly found his rhythm to play his best tennis of the week. Musetti made the difference in the crucial moments, first with a break at 5-5 in the first set and then in the tiebreak of the second set against a resilient Darderi. He saved four match points but not the fifth, winning 10-8 to reach the final after two hours and four minutes.

“We both played a very high-level match, battling point by point from start to finish. I didn’t start well, but I recovered quickly and felt great on the court. I was particularly pleased with my attitude, which can make a difference in taking another step forward,” said Musetti.

Passaro powers into final

Earlier, the other Italian semifinal saw Passaro deliver a stunning performance against No. 4 seed Lorenzo Sonego. On paper, Sonego was the favourite, but the player from Perugia dominated. Coming to Piemonte after reaching the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (the best result of his career), Passaro continued his impressive form.

After a hard-fought 7-6, 6-7, 6-1 victory in the early afternoon against Brandon Nakashima from the United States, the wild card entry conceded just two break points in the opening game against Sonego before taking control of the match. With powerful serves and precise returns, he needed just 66 minutes to win 6-3, 6-2.

“I thought I could win, but not so decisively, especially considering the previous battle. But I quickly recovered my energy and felt really in the zone. I’m playing my best tennis and am thrilled to be in the final of such an important tournament,” said the 23-year-old from Umbria. For Passaro, this achievement is as precious as it is unexpected, especially considering that, as the World No. 240, he was the lowest-ranked player among the 28 men in the main draw.


Singles – Semifinals
Lorenzo Musetti (Ita) b. Luciano Darderi (Ita) 7-5 7-6
Francesco Passaro (Ita) b. Lorenzo Sonego (Ita) 6-3 6-2

Singles – Quarterfinals
Lorenzo Musetti (Ita) b. Fernando Meligeni Alves (Bra) 6-1 6-3
Luciano Darderi (Ita) b. Matteo Arnaldi (Ita) 6-2 2-6 6-3
Lorenzo Sonego (Ita) b. J.J. Wolf (Usa) 6-3 6-3
Francesco Passaro (Ita) b. Brandon Nakashima (Usa) 7-6 6-7 6-1

Doubles – Semifinals
Mies/Skupski (Ger/Gbr) b. Escobar/Nedovyesov (Ecu/Kaz) 6-2 6-7 10/5
Heliovaara/Patten (Fin/Gbr) b. Arneodo/Weissborn (Mon/Aut) 7-5 6-7 10/6