The best edition ever

To get the definitive picture, we will have to wait for the outcome of the Wimbledon qualifiers, but we can already state – with certainty – that the eighteenth edition of the ASPRIA Tennis Cup – BCS Trophy (€73,000, clay) it will be the best ever. There was a cheerful and bubbly atmosphere in the conference room of the ASPRIA Harbor Club Milano, an earthly paradise a stone’s throw from San Siro, which in 2023 will also celebrate its first thirty years of activity: the decision to move the tournament one week was particularly happy, guaranteeing a much better field of participation than in past years. The speakers at the event were aware of this: Roberta Minardi, General Manager of ASPRIA Harbor Club, did the honors, welcoming a strong institutional presence. The Lombardy Region was represented by Lara Magoni, former great champion of alpine skiing, current Undersecretary with responsibility for Sport and Youth, while CONI Lombardy had its president Marco Riva. Yes there was a lot of talk about sustainability, a topic very dear to the institutions and to the title sponsor BCS: the ASPRIA Tennis Cup will not just provide water bottles and water dispensers that will reduce plastic consumption, but there was a gesture with a strong symbolic value : at one point, all those present left the conference room and went to the club garden, where a tree was planted, which will be one of the symbolic images of the tournament. The planting was carried out by Lara Magoni herself, Marco Riva and Giuseppe Fumagalli, president of BCS. During the tournament the ball boys will then take care of it, watering it and taking care of its maintenance.


The organizational details and the many extra-field initiatives were illustrated by the Organizing Director Luca Battocchio, while the president of the Organizing Committee Carlo Alagna described the field of participation. Having said that there could be last-minute adjustments, Milan will welcome the top young Italians. Curiously, the entry list places one after the other five Azzurri born between 2001 and 2003 who represent great hopes (and in some cases already certainties) for our tennis. In strict ranking order, Francesco Passaro (born in 2001 and current finalist), Francesco Maestrelli (2002), Flavio Cobolli (2002), Luca Nardi (2003) and Mattia Bellucci (2001). All have already obtained significant results in the Challenger circuit, and in some cases they have made themselves known in the major circuit. There is a bit of everything: the solidity of Passaro and Cobolli, the power of Maestrelli and the inspiration of Nardi and Bellucci. The Italian patrol is strengthened by the experts Raul Brancaccio, Riccardo Bonadio and Luciano Darderi (another youngster, born in 2002), awaiting the outcome of the qualifiers (scheduled for 2 and 3 July) and the wild cards, all pertaining to the Italian Tennis and Padel Federation, which will be announced in the coming days.


But that’s not all: two former top-20 players will be in Milan: the Chilean Cristian Garin and the Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas. The former returns to the field after a rib injury that prevented him from playing at Roland Garros, and he will be super-motivated because last year he reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, from which he narrowly missed out. We are talking about a player who has won five ATP titles, including the “500” event in Rio de Janeiro in 2020, as well as playing a very spectacular game. Pablo Cuevas is also a great specialist: the Uruguayan expert is 37 years old and has returned after a long stop due to injury, but he is a player who in his golden moments was among the strongest on the surface: he won six ATP titles (all on clay) and has an out of the ordinary flair: throughout his career he has shot some incredibly spectacular shots, including volleys under the legs and tweeners bordering on the paranormal, which promptly went viral on social media. The number 1 seed should be the Hungarian Fabian Marozsan, current ATP n.95: last year he reached the semifinals at the ASPRIA Harbor Club (lost against Passaro), but a month ago he had a sensational peak of popularity beating Carlos Alcaraz in Rome, in one of the most sensational surprises of recent years. Born in 1999, he has a brilliant tennis that knows how to conquer the public and would be a great name for the tournament. His presence, however, will depend on whether or not he qualifies for Wimbledon: on Thursday he will play the decisive round against the German Marterer. But the beauty of Challenger tournaments is that often the most interesting stories emerge from the least talked about players on the eve. The certainty is that the 2023 edition will be more exciting than ever, offering the public the mix that makes this category of tournaments exciting: experience, youth and quality. Admission to the Via Cascina Bellaria club will be free until Thursday 6 July (included), while tickets and the new VIP Pack for the weekend are already available on the TicketOne circuit.

ASPRIA Harbor Club

In 2009, the Harbor Club became part of the Aspria Collection which, with its clubs, spas and hotels, now serves over 35,000 members. Aspria is a prestigious and award-winning group that brings together the best private sports, wellness and family clubs, hotels and spa centers throughout Europe. The large “collection” extends between Brussels, Berlin, Hamburg and Hanover up to Milan; is characterized by a high quality offer, with personalized services to meet the needs of each member. Between 2001 and 2012 Aspria grew from one club (the opening of the Aspria club in Brussels dates back to June 2001) to eight (Aspria Uhlenhorst in Hamburg was inaugurated in March 2012), also incorporating the hotel offer in Hamburg, Hannover, Berlin and at Aspria Royal La Rasante in Brussels.