Darderi Returns To Semi-Finals At Perugia Challenger

Luciano Darderi (photo: Daniele Combi/MEF Tennis Events


The Tennis Club Perugia has become the pulsating heart of the city. The tennis fever shows no signs of slowing down as the Internazionali di Tennis Città di Perugia | G.I.Ma. Tennis Cup recorded another sold-out evening. Friday’s night session of the ATP Challenger Tour 125 tournament, organized by MEF Tennis Events, could easily be mistaken for an event on the main circuit, and Umbrian fans did not miss the chance to enjoy the spectacle.

Luciano Darderi, ranked 41 in the world and the tournament’s top seed, defeated fellow Italian Fabio Fognini with a convincing 6-1, 6-2 victory. In the semifinals on Saturday, he will face German Daniel Altmaier, who played his role as favorite to perfection against hometown player Francesco Passaro, winning 6-2, 7-5.

“Facing Fabio is a great honor. We’re talking about a legend of our tennis,” said Darderi. “I stayed focused throughout the match and am happy with the win.”

In front of more than 1,000 spectators, the 2002-born player from Villa Gesell kept his cool against former World No. 9 Fognini. Darderi showed a flawless performance. With a semi-final finish in Perugia in 2022 and a triumph in at the Challenger in Todi last August, when he was ranked 250 in the world, he has established a strong connection with the tournaments organized by MEF Tennis Events.

“Todi and Perugia are special tournaments for me; everything started here. After winning in Todi, I didn’t stop, and now the Olympics are coming up. What do I expect? The best players will be there, and it will be tough, but I hope to win a medal. Sinner, Arnaldi, Musetti, and the women’s team will be there. It will be a great experience.”

With his victory on Friday, Darderi has secured a new career-high ranking starting Monday. Virtually ranked 39 in the world, winning the tournament could even see him reach the 33rd spot: “I don’t know where I’ll end up in the rankings, but I hope to finish in the Top 30 this year.”


Quarterfinals – Singles
Luciano Darderi (1) b. Fabio Fognini (5) 6-1 6-2
Daniel Altmaier (4) b. Francesco Passaro (8) 6-2 7-5
Sumit Nagal (6) b. Maks Kasnikowski (Alt) 6-4 7-5
Bernabè Zapata Miralles b. Laslo Djere (2) 6-3 6-3