Generational clash: Cecchinato-Cinà on first round

Sicilian derby in the first round of the ASPRIA Tennis Cup – BCS Trophy. The former Roland Garros semi-finalist challenges the main Italian prospect, born in 2007 and already no. 5 junior. There is a 15 year difference between the two. Seven Italians competing in the main draw, plus nine in the qualifiers. Lots of potential stars of the future on both boards.

In the Challengers it is difficult to understand whether a scoreboard is unbalanced or not, given the enormous balance typical of these tournaments, but there is no doubt that – by nose – the main draw of the ASPRIA Tennis Cup – BCS Trophy (clay, 74,825 €) sees a more competitive lower part. This is the outcome of the draw carried out by supervisor Riccardo Ragazzini on Saturday evening, with a couple of matches already catching the eye. There is anticipation for the challenge between the former junior no.1 Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez (who won in Milan a year ago, but at the Bonfiglio Trophy) and Gianluca Mager, former finalist in this tournament (in 2019). But what ignites the suggestion is the generational challenge, as well as the Sicilian (and Palermo) derby, between Marco Cecchinato and Federico Cinà . The former (born in 1992) is an ultra-well-known face of Italian tennis, former ATP top-20 and semi-finalist at Roland Garros, as well as winner at ASPRIA in 2016. He comes from a complicated moment, even if in Sassuolo he gave important signs of recovery. The second (born in 2007) is probably the best Italian hope among the Under 20s, a generation that will have the difficult – but fascinating – task of picking up the baton of the current phenomena, starting with Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti, who will play in the finals at the ATP tournaments in Halle and Queen’s, but who were at the ASPRIA Harbor Club for this tournament a few years ago. Number 744 ATP, Cinà is fifth in the world youth ranking and last year he reached the semi-finals at the US Open, as well as qualifying for the Masters and leading Italy to the junior Davis Cup. He truly is a match not to be missed. While awaiting the outcome of the qualifiers (starting on Sunday at 10am), there are already seven Italians in the main draw, led by Enrico Dalla Valle. The Romagna player is seeded number 5 and awaits a qualifier. He is in the lower part, as is the revived Chun-Hsin Tseng (no. 3 in the draw) and the second seed, the Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas, someone who only twelve months ago reached the round of 16 at Roland Garros.


In the upper part there is the most prestigious player, as well as the first seed: Albert Ramos-Vinolas, called to another generational challenge against Gonzalo Bueno, 16 years his junior. A second round between Ramos and the rampant Samuel Vincent-Ruggeri would be fascinating, but to get there the Bergamo native will have to overcome the Czech Michael Vrbensky. Having said that the wild cards (all chosen by the FITP Technical Sector) went to Cecchinato, Cinà and Andrea Picchione, the tournament will start with the qualifiers and will start off strong straight away, with several players with a very important past. Above all the former top-20 Nikoloz Basilashvili (wild card of the organizers), opposed to the Frenchman Mathys Erhard. Three other former top-100 players appear on the scoreboard: our Alessandro Giannessi, the Spaniard Carlos Taberner and the Portuguese Gastao Elias. But there are several interesting names, including the French baby Gabriel Debru (who has been in the orbit of Riccardo Piatti for some time) and another young man, the Peruvian Ignacio Buse. Without forgetting the Tunisian Moez Echargui, who in a month will play in the Paris Olympics thanks to the gold medal won at the African Games. His opponent will be Federico Arnaboldi, one of the wild cards of federtennis. The other went to Gabriele Piraino, called to a complicated match against Riccardo Bonadio: the Friulian will cease his competitive activity in a couple of months at the home tournament in Cordenons, and without the typical anxieties linked to points and the ranking he is expressing a excellent tennis. The appointment is at 10am at the enchanting ASPRIA Harbor Club in Milan, a stone’s throw from the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium , which in recent days is the scene of various concerts by prominent singers and musicians: tennis can really be an excellent appetizer before dedicating yourself to music. Entry to the club will be free until Wednesday 26 June, while coupons (with various formulas) for the last three days are already available on the Ticketone circuit.