By Florian Heer
Los Gigantes is a resort town in the Santiago del Teide municipality on the west coast of the Canary Island Tenerife. Its main feature are the giant rock formations and cliffs that rise from the sea to a height of 800 metres after which the town has been named. Los Gigantes means “The Giants”.
About 10 kilometres further south, a “Tennis Giant” – Matteo Gigante of Italy – captured his first title on the ATP Challenger Tour. Gigante powered past fellow Italian and wild card entry Stefan Travaglia, 6-3, 6-2, in the singles final of the Tenerife Challenger 3.
On a mostly sunny Sunday at the Abama Tennis Academy in Guía de Isora, the 21-year-old was the dominant player right from the beginning of the match. The first set saw service losses on both sides, but Gigante gained the decisive break in the 8th game to close the set out. The World No. 232 from Rome took the momentum into the second set broke Travaglia’s serve in the first game and from then on didn’t look back anymore. Gigante won 59 per cent of the total points played to seal victory in one hour and 10 minutes.
Exciting week in Tenerife
“I am so happy and proud of myself, my team and my family. I played very good tennis this week at this amazing place,” Gigante said.
The #NextGenATP Italian, who fell in the final round of the qualifying to his compatriot Giovanni Fonio at the start of the €73,000 hard-court event, entered the main draw with a wild card and beat Spanish wild card Daniel Rincon, top seed Francesco Passaro of Italy, wild card entry Pablo Llamas Ruiz of Spain and his fellow countryman Riccardo Bonadio en-route to the championship match.
“It was a complicated final. Stefano and I are good friends and we played last week here. We practice together in Rome. It was a mental challenge, but I won, and I am happy,” the leftie said.
Gigante, who celebrated his maiden triumph on the Pro Circuit at the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 event in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt last year, has claimed the biggest title of his career. He earned €9,880 in prize money as well as 75 ATP Ranking points.
“I will continue with my work and try to play good tennis and a couple more tournaments.”