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AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE FOR TENNIS SCHOOLS

The Tenerife Challenger opens its doors to tennis schools in the Canary Islands – The dream of many boys and girls who practice sports is to meet those who have made that dream come true. Young tennis fans from the Canary Islands will have the opportunity to experience a day in close contact with the professional tennis players participating in the ATP Challenger Tour tournaments that will take place in Guía de Isora, Tenerife. The organization of the tournament, together with the Tenerife Tennis Federation and the Canarian Tennis Federation, will involve the tennis schools of the Canary Islands with the KIDS DAY!

The novelty of Tenerife Challenger 2 and 3 is the presence of IODA Tenerife, an association that promotes values such as Inclusion, Leisure and Adaptive Sports. Children will have the opportunity to test their wheelchair tennis skills playing with IODA athletes.

Instructors and representatives of tennis clubs will be able to register their tennis school for one or more days, choosing between February 18 February 19 and February 26. Registration is done by filling out the attached form. A contact person will then contact the group leader to finalize the details of the visit to the Tenerife Challenger.

The KIDS DAY program varies by day and includes:
– PRACTICE SESSION WITH PLAYERS FROM TENERIFE CHALLENGER AND WHEELCHAIR TENNIS: The tennis schools that join will be able to dribble with the champions of the ATP Challenger tournament (30 minutes)
– PHOTO WITH THE PRO PLAYER: During and at the end of training, the boys will take photos with the players. Photos will be sent via link to the reference teacher.
– AUTOGRAPH SESSION: Each boy/girl will be given a ball autographed by one of the tournament players.
– FREE ENTRY: Each participating child will be given a free pass for the entire day. Each participant can bring two companions who will be allowed free access throughout the day.

**** HOW TO REGISTER: To register for the initiative, simply complete the attached form, or send an email to ticket@meftennisevents.com indicating the day of interest, preferred time slot, number of children/teenagers (minimum 8 people) . The contact person will be contacted to confirm the schedule. Registration until February 12 for Tenerife Challenger 2 and 3.

 

Click here to fill out the form!

TENERIFE CHALLENGER 2, THE ENTRY LIST REVEALED

FROM GIGANTE TO PASSARO, MANY ITALIANS ON THE ISLAND

THERE IS ALSO DE JONG, SINNER’S OPPONENT IN AUSTRALIA

 

Tenerife, 30 January 2024 – The names that will be part of the Tenerife Challenger 2 have been made official. Having archived the first appointment in January, MEF Tennis Events is ready to double with the two ATP Challenger 75 tournaments which will take place on the Canary island between 18 February and March 3. The Hungarian Zsombor Piros, number 129 ATP, leads the entry list where five Italian tennis players appear. Among these Matteo Gigante, champion in 2023 of one of the events staged at the Abama Tennis Academy, as well as fresh winner of the Nonthaburi 3 Challenger (Thailand). Also present at the starting line is the former ATP number 40 Ilya Ivashka, as well as the promising Daniel Rincón (athlete of the Rafa Nadal Academy) and the Dutchman Jesper De Jong, recently Jannik Sinner’s opponent at the Australian Open. Tenerife Tourism and the Canary Islands therefore continue to focus on sport, and in particular tennis, to help promote an island with an optimal climate, which makes hospitality one of its strong points.

Gigante and Travaglia dream of an encore – One year after challenging each other in the final act of Tenerife Challenger 3, Matteo Gigante and Stefano Travaglia will return to the island as protagonists. The Roman born in 2002 has already left his mark on the hard courts of the Abama Tennis Academy and, thanks to his ATP ranking of number 155, he will be seeded. Despite the defeat in the final, the memories of the Canaries are probably even sweeter for Stefano Travaglia. The tennis player at the Enjoy Sporting Club of Rome, former ATP number 60, got his career back in motion with the result in Tenerife and since then he has climbed more than 200 positions in the world rankings which currently sees him at number 201. The tricolor troop is completed with Franco Agamemenone, Alessandro Giannessi and Francesco Passaro. The spotlight will be on the latter, who a year ago found himself one step away from the Top 100 before suffering from a series of physical problems that prevented him from experiencing the past season to the fullest of his possibilities. Tenerife could be the right springboard to get back on top.

De Jong, from Sinner to Tenerife – Among the players ready to battle in the Tenerife Challenger 2, the name of Jesper de Jong stands out. The Dutchman born in 2000 should lead the lower part of the draw as the number two seed, trying to give continuity to the excellent period that saw him play three Challenger finals in 2023 (the last one won against Benjamin Hassan in Grodzisk Mazowiecki), as well as reaching the main draw of the 2024 Australian Open starting from the qualifiers. In Melbourne, the current ATP number 139 defeated Pedro Cachin (world no. 74) in the first round before crashing into the wall erected by Jannik Sinner, capable of defeating him 6-2 6-2 6-2 on his way towards the first Slam of his career. The first seed will be Zsombor Piros, already winner of four titles in the cadet circuit. The twenty-four-year-old Hungarian, protagonist in the Davis Cup with his national team, will try a new assault on the Top 100 after failing to achieve his goal at the end of last season. Major circuit mission also for the former world number 40 Ilya Ivashka, who at 29 years old may have all it takes to return to the top. The Belarusian boasts Winston Salem’s ATP 250 title in his palmares, as well as highly prestigious scalps such as those of Alexander Zverev, Stanislas Wawrinka, Hubert Hurkacz and Lorenzo Musetti. There will be no shortage of home players, already three waiting for possible wild cards. Pablo Llamas Ruiz, seeded number four, will try to improve on the quarter-finals reached in the first of the three Challengers organized by MEF Tennis Events in the Canary Islands. Behind him also present Daniel Rincon, athlete of the Rafa Nadal Academy and winner of the 2021 US Open Junior, as well as the current ATP n.221 Alejandro Moro Canas.

TENERIFE CHALLENGER 1, WILD CARD TO FABIO FOGNINI
MARCHESINI: “FABIO JOINS OTHER GREAT CHAMPIONS”
THERE IS ALSO LANDALUCE, THE FUTURE OF SPANISH TENNIS

Tenerife, 12 January 2024 – Tenerife Challenger 1 is enriched with another prestigious name at the starting line. Fabio Fognini will land on the Canary Island to play the first of three tournaments organized by MEF Tennis Events on the hard courts of the Abama Tennis Academy, by virtue of a wild card for the main draw granted by the organization. The Taggiasco becomes part of a rich entry list that already included his compatriots Flavio Cobolli and Raul Brancaccio, as well as the promising Abdullah Shelbayh and the champions of the last two editions of the Next Gen ATP Finals Brandon Nakashima and Hamad Medjedovic. Martin Landaluce will also be there in the ATP Challenger 100 which will take place from 14 to 21 January. The Spanish Tennis Federation granted the former under-18 world number one one of the two wild cards at its disposal, the other invitation went to Alejandro Moro Canas.

Fognini joins Cobolli and Brancaccio – For Fabio Fognini, one of the most illustrious names on the Italian tennis scene, the results obtained during his career speak for themselves. Best ranking of number 9 ATP, champion of the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 in 2019 and one of the players with the most appearances in the Italian Davis Cup national team. Despite a year decimated by physical problems, the thirty-six year old from Arma di Taggia has not lost his will to fight. In a 2023 of ups and downs he stood out with the third rounds of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and Roland Garros, while at the end of the season he closed on a high note with the semi-final in the ATP 250 in Metz and the victory in the Challenger in Valencia in end of November. Currently at position number 105 ATP, the Ligurian is chasing a return to the Top 100 which has been missing since April last year, and in Tenerife he will join Flavio Cobolli and Raul Brancaccio representing the Italian troop on the island. “For us it is a joy to return to host so many great champions – said the President of MEF Tennis Events, Marcello Marchesini –, to whom Fabio has now been added. We will find ourselves in a splendid place like the Abama Tennis Academy, which in 2021 allowed us to win the award as the best WTA 250 tournament of the season. All this would not be possible without the help of the Government of the Canary Islands and the support of Tenerife Tourism, who have renewed their trust in us also for 2024″.

Wild card in the main draw also for the talented Landaluce – Martin Landaluce has been added to the large group of interesting young people ready to battle it out in Tenerife. The Spaniard, former world number one under 18 and champion of the US Open Junior 2022, will take to the court in Tenerife thanks to a wild card granted to him by the Spanish Tennis Federation. During 2023, Landaluce had the opportunity to play in the first round of the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid by virtue of a wild card, which was joined shortly afterwards by the first round of the ATP 250 in Umag. The alternation between these tokens in the major circuit and the first victories in the Challenger circuit, culminating with the quarter-finals in Alicante and Valencia, allowed him to become the first tennis player born in 2006 to enter the Top 500 (now n.443) . “I have to say a big thank you to the Spanish Federation and its president Miguel Diaz Roman – added Marcello Marchesini -. The intense collaboration we are having contributes to the spectacle we will see on the pitch, and with their important help we are increasing the number of Challenger tournaments in Spain, which is now like a second home for us.” The Iberian presence in Tenerife is enriched with further names to keep an eye on. The Spanish Federtennis also granted a wild card for the main draw to Alejandro Moro Canas (current number 230 ATP), while the two invitations for the qualifiers went to Pol Martin Tiffon and Daniel Merida Aguilar (number 235 and 439 ATP respectively). Also fighting for access to the main draw will be Tomas Quesada (an athlete originally from Gran Canaria) and Kenay Ortiz (tennis player from the Tenerife Tennis Academy), both of whom will be awarded a wild card by the organisation.

Tickets and season tickets to enjoy great tennis in Tenerife are available on the website www.tenerifetennis.com

For any information you can write to ticket@meftennisevents.com

Photo Daniele Combi

GREAT TENNIS RETURNS TO THE CANARY ISLANDS
HALYS AND COBOLLI LEAD THE FIRST ENTRY LIST
TWO CHAMPIONS OF THE NEXT GEN FINALS AT THE START

Tenerife, 26 December 2023 – The Tenerife Challenger 1 entry list is official. After the success of last season, the ATP Challenger circuit returns to the hard courts of the Abama Tennis Academy with the three tournaments organized by MEF Tennis Events. The first ATP Challenger 100, scheduled from 14 to 21 January 2024, will be followed by two ATP Challenger 75s (from 18 to 25 February and from 26 February to 3 March 2024). The Frenchman Quentin Halys, former number 61 in the world rankings, leads the seeding in which the Italians Flavio Cobolli and Raul Brancaccio are present. Spain will be the protagonist with three hosts: Pedro Martinez, Pablo Llamas Ruiz and Daniel Rincon. There is a lot of curiosity about the Jordanian talent of the Rafa Nadal Academy Abdullah Shelbayh, as well as the winners of the 2022 and 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals, Brandon Nakashima and Hamad Medjedovic respectively. The return of professionals to Tenerife coincides with the restyling of the Abama Tennis Academy; the Abama Resort has in fact completed the construction of a new covered area near the central court and a restaurant dedicated to the players (Restaurante Tágara) just before the entrance to the courts. An important investment to increasingly welcome athletes, tourists and enthusiasts.

Cobolli among the favorites on the island, for Brancaccio it’s like home – Exactly one year after his participation in the Tenerife Challenger, Flavio Cobolli returns to the Canary island with a different awareness. The Roman tennis player, current ATP number 101, comes from an important season which saw him enter the top 100, reaching the best ranking of 95 in the world, but also playing two Challenger finals (winning the second trophy of the circuit in Lisbon cadet). Between April and June 2023 he first reached the quarter-finals of the ATP 250 in Munich, then the main draw of the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome and Roland Garros. Precisely in France he faced the former world number one Carlos Alcaraz, coming out defeated inside the prestigious Philippe Chatrier. For Raul Brancaccio it will almost be a home tournament. The tennis player from Torre del Greco has an important connection with Spain (he lives in Valencia and trains at the GTennis Academy) and will try to exploit the public’s sympathy to repeat the Tenerife Challenger 2 final reached in 2023. There is great curiosity for the performances of Abdullah Shelbayh, Brandon Nakashima and Hamad Medjedovic. The Jordanian was the protagonist of an excellent 2023 which saw him participate in the Next Gen ATP Finals and win a Challenger tournament in Charleston, gaining over 250 positions in the rankings. Current number 195 in the world, the point in common between Shelbayh and Spain is the Rafa Nadal Academy, a fixed base for his training. The last two winners of the Next Gen ATP Finals will also take to the court on the hard courts of the Abama Tennis Academy: the American Nakashima, champion of 2022, currently number 134 in the world, and the Serbian born in 2003, Medjedovic, protagonist of a 2023 studded with three Challenger titles and the triumph in the event dedicated to the best under 21s in the world.

Marchesini inaugurates 2024: “A joy to start again in Tenerife” – The President of MEF Tennis Events, Marcello Marchesini, can’t wait to start a new season: “For us it is always a joy to accompany the start of a new season with three tournaments in Tenerife, just like what happened last season. The events consolidate our relationship with the island and are an opportunity to see champions and promising young players up close.” The bond between MEF Tennis Events and the Abama Tennis Academy is increasingly strong. The constant organization of important events has favored further improvements for the areas adjacent to the fields of a club that is even better equipped this year: “We are very happy with the collaboration with Abama, which for 2024 has increased the services within its club. This year there will be a covered restaurant dedicated to the players (Restaurante Tágara), as well as a new covered area behind the center court. The environment will also be more comfortable for the many fans and tourists who will come to experience these three weeks of great tennis.”

THE 2024 SPANISH CHALLENGER CALENDAR WILL START IN TENERIFE

Abama Tennis Academyin the south of the island of Tenerifewill host three circuit tournaments during the first quarter of 2024 ATP Challenger, organized by MEF Tennis Events. On this occasion the calendar will be made up of a Challenger 100 and two tournaments Challenger 75.

Of the January 14 to 21 The ATP Challenger 100 will be held. The two ATP Challenger 75 will be held consecutively between the February 18 and 25the first and among the February 26 and March 3, the second. The event will host around 220 professional tennis players, both recognized stars and some of the best promises in the world.

MEF Tennis Events, a company specialized in organizing ATP, WTA and ITF tournaments in Italy, reinforces its commitment to Tenerife as European headquarters. The facilities have seven fast lanes Flexipave surface on which the games are played Australian and United States Open. In addition, the center court has a capacity of 600 spectators.

In 2024, the ATP Challenger Tour circuit has 147 tournaments Worldwide.

In the first and second edition of these tournaments, in 2022 and 2023, great world-known tennis players participated, such as Fernando VerdascoFeliciano LopezTallon Griekspoor (current 24 ATP and tournament winner in 2021), Matteo Arnaldi (winner in 2023 and current 41 ATP) and players like Joao SousaElias Ymer or Benoit Paire.

Matteo Gigante - Foto Johanna Wallmeier (MEF Tennis Events)

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.”

Matteo Gigante - Foto Johanna Wallmeier (MEF Tennis Events)

by Florian Heer

For the second consecutive time, two Italians will meet in a singles final of the Tenerife Challenger series. After the success of Matteo Arnaldi over his compatriot Raul Brancaccio last weekend, this Sunday Stefano Travaglia and Matteo Gigante will play for the title of the Tenerife Challenger 3.

Travaglia battled past fifth-seeded Briton Ryan Peniston 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-2 on a sunny Saturday in Guía de Isora. The 31-year-old wild card entry sent down four aces and won two points more than his rival to secure victory in two hours and 24 minutes.

“It was a tough match right from the beginning and in the first set I immediately spent a lot of physical and mental energy,” said 409th-ranked Travaglia. “In the second set my opponent changed the pace, but in the third I found my best tennis.”

Gigante wins two matches, advances to maiden Challenger final

Gigante pulled double duty to reach his maiden final on the ATP Challenger Tour. The 21-year-old lucky loser backed up a win earlier in the day against Spaniard Pablo Llamas Ruiz (6-2, 6-4) with a hard-fought 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over fellow Italian Riccardo Bonadio.

The World No. 232 struck seven aces, won 77 per cent of his first-service points and broke his opponent four times to prevail after two hours and 36 minutes.

“In the first match I played well, then I recharged my batteries for the match with “Bonny”, which was a real battle,” said Gigante.

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, is bidding for the biggest title of his career. Travaglia could lift his sixth ATP Challenger career trophy, his first since the 2021 Sibiu Open in Romania. Both players met for the first-time last week in the second round of the Tenerife Challenger 2. Gigante won in straight sets.

The two have a very good relationship and have recently been training together at the Enjoy Sporting Club. “We often play in Rome. Last week’s match counts for nothing. Stefano is playing very well, and it will be a great final,” said Gigante.

Harris/Harrison triumph in doubles

Later in the evening and under the lights on Centre Court at the Abama Tennis Academy, Andrew Harris from Australia and US-American Christian Harrison captured the doubles title. The No. 4 seeds edged past third favourites Luke Johnson from Great Britain and Sem Verbeek of the Netherlands 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 10-8 in two hours and two minutes.

By winning their second team title after Little Rock, United States last year, Harris and Harrison split €9,880 in prize money and pocketed 75 ATP Doubles Ranking points.

President of the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation visits Tenerife Challenger

Off the courts, the Tenerife Challenger earned a visit from Miguel Díaz Román, president of the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET), who attends the final weekend of the tournament series on the biggest of the Canary Islands.

“Not too many years ago we only had two Challenger tournaments in Spain,” Díaz Román said. “Thanks to companies like MEF Tennis Events, which are specialized in the organisation of international tennis tournaments, we had the opportunity to increase this number. We can only thank Marcello Marchesini for this. The three Tenerife Challengers are important for our development and Spanish players have the opportunity to compete in tournaments at home, so they can earn ranking points without leaving the country.”

Reigning US Open junior champion Martín Landaluce is one of the young Spaniards, who played at this year’s Tenerife Challenger series. “I don’t want to compare him to Carlos Alcaraz, but Martín Landaluce has all the ingredients to become a champion,” the RFET president commented on the prospects of the 17-year-old from Madrid.

A total of 15 Challenger events are scheduled to be held in Spain this season.

“It is very important for us to organise tournaments in Spain. To start with three Challengers, being held in a wonderful place like the Abama Tennis Academy is special,” said Díaz Román, who considers the organisation of professional events to be fundamental in his vision. The next step in this direction could be the organisation of an ATP Challenger 175, a category that has been added to the calendar for the first time this year.

“I like this novelty and I have also discussed it with Marcello Marchesini. I think it is a feasible objective for the future.”

by Florian Heer

For the third time in the past four weeks, the stars of the ATP Challenger Tour have gathered at the stunning venue of the Abama Tennis Academy in Guía de Isora, where spectators can enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean while soaking in world-class tennis, to determine the champion of the Tenerife Challenger. Following the triumph of Italian Matteo Arnaldi last Sunday, two of his fellow countrymen have found their way into the semi-finals of this week’s €73,000 hard-court event.

In the bottom half of the draw, Stefano Travaglia defeated his compatriot Alessandro Giannessi 6-3, 6-4 on Friday. The 31-year-old from the Marche region of Italy capitalized on four of his eight break-point chances to seal victory in one hour and 27 minutes.

“I’m happy to be in the semi-finals,” said 409th-ranked Travaglia, who entered the main draw of the Tenerife Challenger 3 with a wild card. “Alessandro and I have known each other for a long time. Today there was a lot of wind, but I was well prepared and played a good match. I’m finding consistency after not being able to play so many matches at the end of 2022.”

Supported by his wife Maria Paola and his new coach Giuseppe Fischetti, who is based at the Enjoy Sporting Club in Rome, former World No. 60 Travaglia wants to get back to his best.

“The ranking will come as a result. I am happy that my wife will be able to travel with me a few more weeks this year. With Peppe Fischetti we are having a good time and I will travel with him as well. At the Enjoy Sporting Club we worked hard during the pre-season and now we are starting to see the results.”

Peniston beats Fonio 

Travaglia will next face No. 5 seed Ryan Peniston, who beat Italian qualifier Giovanni Fonio 7-5, 6-4 on Court 3. The 27-year-old Briton won 58 per cent of the total points played to advance in one hour and 37 minutes.

“I am happy to be in the semi-finals here. It was a super close match, which could have gone either way. The conditions were tough, and Giovanni is a great player,” said Peniston. 

“I did my pre-season in Australia because my coach is from Adelaide. It was awesome, as I was staying with his family, and I could also enjoy some really good preparation. This helped me at the start of the season,” added the World No. 159, who also reached the stage of the final four at the ATP Challenger event in Noumea, New Caledonia in January, his first tournament of 2023. Another good result in Tenerife should help him to get closer to reach his goal of the new season. “I want to make the Top 100 this year, playing some ATP events,” Peniston said.

Bonadio through to the final four

In the top half of the draw, Riccardo Bonadio knocked out fellow Italian and No. 8 seed Francesco Maestrelli 7-5, 6-2. The 29-year-old from Pordenone withstood four aces and broke Maestrelli’s serve five times to prevail after one hour and 56 minutes.

“Today’s conditions were slower compared to the other days, probably because of the rain last night,” said Bonadio. “It was very windy, so it was tough to be aggressive on court today. But I am happy, as I played well and made it into the semi-finals here in Tenerife. Together with my coach we work hard on my game on hard courts, and it pays off.” 

Bonadio will next take on either Matteo Gigante of Italy or Spanish wild card entry Pablo Llamas Ruiz. Their quarterfinal match was suspended at 1-1 in the first set due to rain and postponed to Saturday, 10:30 am.

 

Matteo Arnaldi - Foto Daniel Kondraciuk (MEF Tennis Events)

By Florian Heer

Amazing Arnaldi downs Brancaccio for Tenerife Challenger 2 title

Matto Arnaldi capped his stunning week at the Abama Tennis Academy on Sunday when the 21-year-old prevailed 6-1, 6-2 in an all-Italian championship match at the Tenerife Challenger 2.

The second-seeded Arnaldi was ruthless right from the beginning against his countryman by staying consistent from the baseline and winning 68 per cent of the total points played to clinch opening set in only 25 minutes.

The #NextGenATP star also set the tone early in the second set, earned a break in the first game and continued to impress with clean hitting off both wings. On the other side of the net, Brancaccio struggled with blisters, took a medical time-out after the third game to receive treatment on his right hand. Arnaldi remained solid, still focused on his own game, and served the match out after 58 minutes.

Arnaldi with new career-high ranking

“I’m very happy about the success,” said Arnaldi. “Overall, it was a good week. It’s never easy to be one of the favourites of a tournament. I played my best match probably in the first round (against Alessandro Giannessi). I’m sorry for Raul who couldn’t play at 100 per cent today, but I am super happy, how I played. The event was amazing with perfect organization by MEF Tennis Events and fantastic conditions. It’s great to play outdoors during the winter.”

Arnaldi lifted his second ATP Challenger Tour career title following his maiden triumph on home soil in Francavilla in May last year. The Sanremo native pocketed €9,880 in prize money as well as 75 ATP Ranking points, which propels him to a new career-high of World No. 110 on Monday.

“Off the court I have found my balance,” said Arnaldi. “I will make some new experiences this season, playing my first ATP events and I also hope to compete in the main draws of the Grand Slam tournaments. I will continue trying to do my best.”

Arnaldi will next play at the ATP Challenger in Bahrain followed by the qualifications to the ATP Tour events in Doha, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami.

Brancaccio, who is based in Spain at the GTennis Academy in Valencia and is coached by Sergio Gallego, earned €5,820 in prize money and 50 ATP Ranking points.  

Third and final tournament in Tenerife to go underway

Tennis action on the largest of the Canary Islands continues the upcoming week with the Tenerife Challenger 3. The field is led by World No. 109 Francesco Passaro of Italy, who will start his title bid against a qualifier.

Alexander Shevchenko, champion of the Tenerife Challenger 1, will be the second seed. The 22-year-old Russian also awaits a qualifier for his first-round match. Carlos Taberner, Martín Landaluce as well as wild card entries Daniel Rincón and Pablo Llamas Ruiz will be part of a strong Spanish contingent.

Matteo Arnaldi - Foto Daniel Kondraciuk (MEF Tennis Events)

by Florian Heer

Matteo Arnaldi and Raul Brancaccio will meet in Sunday’s all-Italian singles final of the Tenerife Challenger 2. Arnaldi, No. 2 seed of the €73,000 ATP Challenger Tour hard-court event being held at the Abama Tennis Academy, defeated Spanish wild card entry Nicolas Alvarez Varona 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday in Guía de Isora.

In the pair’s first meeting at Challenger level, Arnaldi won 83 per cent of his first-service points and broke his rival three times to advance in one hour and 35 minutes.

“I am very happy how I played. Today was my best match of the tournament. I was more consistent in the important moments,” said Arnaldi, who lost to Max Purcell in the final round of the qualifying at last month’s Australian Open. “In Australia I played well and was close to reach the main draw. Being in the final here is another good sign at an early stage of the season,” the World No. 130 added.

“I am close to crack the Top 100 after this tournament, regardless of the result of the final. My goal was to raise the level, which worked pretty well, and I will now have the opportunity to play the qualifying of ATP Tour events.”

Brancaccio receives walkover

Meanwhile, Brancaccio received a walkover from South African Lloyd Harris, who was forced to withdraw from his match due to sciatica.

Arnaldi is bidding for his second ATP Challenger career title following his maiden triumph on home soil in Francavilla in May last year. The 147th-ranked Brancaccio could lift his third career trophy, his second of the season after Noumea, New Caledonia in the very first week of the 2023 season. The pair’s head-to-head record on the Pro Circuit is tied at 1-1.

Harrison/Mochizuki lift doubles trophies

Later in the day and after a short rain delay, US-American Christian Harrison and Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan claimed the doubles title. The unseeded duo defeated the all-Italian combination of Matteo Gigante and Francesco Passaro 6-4, 6-3 in 64 minutes.

By winning their first team title, Harrison and Mochizuki split €4,250 in prize money and earned 75 ATP Doubles Ranking points.

Sunday’s singles final will start at 12 noon.