Blue trio: Cobolli, Gigante and Darderi in the semifinals

Three Italians in the semifinals at the ASPRIA Harbor Club: Gigante-Darderi derby and a splendid Flavio Cobolli, who beats Tirante and challenges Diaz Acosta.

Facundo Diaz Acosta will be the only foreigner in the semifinals of the ASPRIA Tennis Cup – BCS Trophy (€73,000, clay). At the end of a very long day (so long as to require moving the field of the last match), Italy placed three players in the Final Four. The most beautiful victory – also because it came in the most awaited match – was signed by Flavio Cobolli, good at beating Thiago Agustin Tirante in three sets. There was great curiosity, given that the two had expressed the best tennis of the week. The brilliance of Cobolli won, more proactive, more eager to conquer the point without waiting for the error of others. In a match of excellent quality, the Roman got off to a better start (3-0 with two breaks), then contained the return of Tirante until closing with a score of 6-4. A break in the eighth game of the second was enough for the Argentine to extend the match to the third. Confirming the approach already shown in recent days, Cobolli didn’t flinch and continued to push in the third, without letting himself be conditioned by some mistakes, which were inevitable given the risks he ran, especially with the forehand. It is on this shot that he has to acquire a little extra confidence, because he has happened to pee him several times. But that’s okay, because it’s what gives him the most points and allows him to command the game. Not surprisingly, “Cobbo” sealed the match with a forehand blaze down the line, to fix the score on 6-4 3-6 6-3. In the third set, a break in the fourth game was enough for him, which he kept until the end, despite the fact that in the last game he had to come back from 0-30. Cobolli will challenge Diaz Acosta in the first semi-final on Saturday (second match, the doubles final starts at 13.30), while the other match will see Matteo Gigante (who followed his friend Cobolli’s third set in the stands) and Luciano Darderi.


The awaited blue derby between Luca Nardi and Matteo Gigante was the expected battle. More than two hours and forty minutes of match rewarded the latter, winner with a score of 4-6 7-6 6-4. Gigante won it with grit, he wanted to bring it home at all costs and he succeeded, showing a better athletic condition than his opponent, who also fought to the last ball and – above all – came within a step from victory. Nardi had a matchpoint in the tie-break of the second set, about which he may have some regrets : he wanted to free himself from the exchange with a bunt, which however came out too long. Gigante got there, and the lob from Pesaro went long. A drop – this time winning – by Gigante closed the second set, then there was still a battle in the third, in which Nardi wasted too many chances: first he was ahead 3-1, then he let himself be restarted (the sixth game was lasted 18 points) and overcome. He gave a jolt of pride as he hung up on his opponent at 4-4, he had the chance to make it 5-4 but didn’t exploit it, earning yet another break. In the last game he canceled a matchpoint with a splendid crossed backhand, but gave up a minute later, pierced by Gigante’s seventh ace. The hug between the two was beautiful, the seal of a game played in a very serene atmosphere, with apologies after every lucky point and points returned. “Giga”, Nardi said to his opponent, “Lu” Gigante replied when he addressed Nardi. Perhaps this is the postcard of a game that Gigante deserved for the ringworm he put on the pitch, as well as the intelligence in understanding the opponent’s tiredness and filling him with short balls in the third set. The feeling remains that Nardi has something more in his technical baggage, but in tennis you don’t win only with good shots. It takes much more. Something that Luciano Darderi will try to field, who walked against Lautaro Midon in what should have been the last match of the day, but was moved to the Grandstand Field due to the continuation of the program. A 6-2 6-0 in exactly one hour, a faithful reflection of Darderi’s clear superiority over his opponent, who moreover committed many foot faults, punctually recognized, while in the previous round he had been pardoned a bit. So, Italy is certain to have at least one finalist at the ASPRIA Harbor Club, but dreams of an all-blue final like it has never happened in the previous sixteen editions. Should it not happen, it will be Italy-Argentina like last year, when Francesco Passaro and Federico Coria faced each other.


Singles Quarter Finals

Facundo Diaz Acosta (ARG) b. Gauthier Onclin (BEL) 6-4 6-3

Matteo Gigante (ITA) b. Luca Nardi (ITA) 4-6 7-6(7) 6-4

Luciano Darderi (ITA) b. Lautaro Midon (ARG) 6-2 6-0

Flavio Cobolli (ITA) b. Thiago Agustin Tirante (ARG) 6-4 3-6 6-3

Doubles Semifinals

Theo Arribage / Luca Sanchez (FRA-FRA) b. Diego Hidalgo / Sergio Martos-Gornes (ECU-ESP) 6-4 3-6 10-7

Jonathan Eysseric / Denys Molchanov (FRA-UCR) b. Alexandru Jecan / Markos Kalovelonis (ROM-GRE) 6-3 6-1