Darderi Claims Perugia Challenger Title

Luciano Darderi (photo: Daniele Combi/MEF Tennis Events


In ten months, everything has changed for Luciano Darderi. Last August, the 22-year-old Italian won the ATP Challenger Tour title in Todi as the world’s No. 250, and on Sunday, he triumphed at the Internazionali di Tennis Città di Perugia | G.I.Ma. Tennis Cup, breaking into the Top 40.

Darderi delivered a dominant performance and defeated last week’s Neckarcup champion Sumit Nagal of India 6-1, 6-2 in 62 minutes.

Now the World No. 34 and Italy’s No. 3, Darderi secured his third ATP Challenger career title without dropping a set. Meeting expectations throughout the week was no easy task, but Darderi did not disappoint the crowd. The ninth edition of the ATP Challenger 125 tournament organized by MEF Tennis Events at Tennis Club Perugia concluded with the first-ever victory by an Italian, after Edoardo Lavagno’s runner-up finish last year.

“I didn’t expect such a quick final. Sumit has been having a great season, coming off a Challenger win in Germany, and he’s a tough opponent,” said Darderi. “I’m happy to be the first Italian to win in Perugia and to have done it in front of my family. The MEF Tennis Events tournaments are always well organized.”

Darderi’s journey in Todi was accompanied by his family, and in Perugia, they were all present again, thanks to the proximity of the Umbrian city to his hometown of Fano. His coach and father, Gino Darderi, his brother Vito, his mother, his girlfriend, and many other team and family members were all there to support him.

“Everything happened at once: becoming Italy’s No. 3 and qualifying for the Olympics. A year ago, people didn’t know me, and now many cheer for me, and children ask for photos and autographs. It makes me happy because they play tennis and have the same dream I had.”

Darderi is now heading to Germany, where he will start his grass-court swing in Halle against the German Jan-Lennard Struff. After that, he will compete at the ATP 250 in Mallorca and then Wimbledon. “The first two weeks will be for getting into the rhythm to play my best at Wimbledon. There are many strong players on grass, and the most important thing for me is to stay healthy,” said Darderi, who earned a prize purse of € 20,300 as well as 125 ATP Ranking points.