Darderi Downs Pellegrino At Perugia Challenger

Luciano Darderi (photo: Daniele Combi/MEF Tennis Events


Luciano Darderi advanced to the quarterfinals of the Internazionali di Tennis Città di Perugia | G.I.Ma. Tennis Cup. The top seed of the ATP Challenger Tour 125 tournament being held at the Tennis Club Perugia, defeated fellow-Italian Andrea Pellegrino 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday.

Darderi sent down seven aces and won 80 per cent of his first-service points to succeed in one hour and 17 minutes. The World No. 41 will next take on fifth-seeded Italian veteran Fabio Fognini, who edged past his compatriot Matteo Gigante 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 47 minutes.

Darderi, who reached the semi-finals here in 2022, when he surprised the competition as a qualifier, is aiming for the title this year.

“Here the ball bounces a lot, so the match approach is not easy. After the first two games, I played a great match. I’m happy to be back in Perugia. In 2022, I was ranked around 300 in the world, but I knew I had this level. In these months, I’ve had special experiences, and returning to Umbria after all this is equally special,” Darderi said.

This week, Darderi benefited from a wild card to maintain his rhythm on clay, a surface on which he will compete in the Paris Olympics in just over a month. Before that, he will play on grass, culminating in his debut in the main draw at Wimbledon:

“For me, the Olympics are much more important than Wimbledon. This will be the first year I play in Halle, Mallorca, and the main draw of the Championships. I don’t have many expectations; we’ll see how it goes.”

In other second-round action, Daniel Altmaier of Germany secured a 6-3, 7-6(4) victory over Stefano Travaglia from Italy. The fourth favourite converted two of his six break-point chances and won 56 per cent of the total points played to seal victory in one hour and 46 minutes.

Up next for Altmaier will be No. 8 seed Francesco Passaro of Italy, who was a 6-1, 6-3 winner over home favourite Franco Agamenone. The encounter lasted 63 minutes.


Second Round – Singles

Luciano Darderi (1/WC) b. Andrea Pellegrino 6-3 6-3
Fabio Fognini (5/WC) b. Matteo Gigante 6-4 7-5
Daniel Altmaier (4) b. Stefano Travaglia 6-3 7-6(4)
Francesco Passaro (8) b. Franco Agamenone 6-1 6-3