COMO, September 4, 2016
The 11th edition of the €42,500 ATP Challenger Torneo Città di Como, held at the local Tennis Club situated next to the Villa Olmo and the famous lake, concluded on Sunday with Kenny de Schepper as the tournament’s champion. The Frenchman rallied back from a set down to beat Marco Cecchinato 2-6, 7-6, 7-5.
Cecchinato set the tone early, gaining two breaks to clinch the opening set in only 28 minutes with a backhand winner down the line. In the following, De Schepper found his way into the match, broke the Italian two times but couldn’t confirm. Consequently, the second set went into the tie-break with Cecchinato starting to produce a couple of unforced errors. The world number 165 from Toulouse took the breaker 7-0 to push the match the distance.
On another hot day in Como, De Schepper was a break down in the final set but fought back, gaining his fourth break of the encounter to convert his third match point after two hours and 46 minutes. De Schepper has captured his first title on the ATP Challenger Tour since Cherbourg 2014 and his fifth overall.
“It was a good fight. Marco played great throughout the week. I also had to play a couple of close matches but physically I feel ok,” de Schepper told Tennis TourTalk after the battle. The former world number 68 overcame Ramkunar Ramanathan, Andrey Rublev, Leonardo Mayer, Adrian Ungur and Cecchinato en-route to the title.
“It has also been my first final since 2014 and it will give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season. I hope that I can continue like this in the future,” de Schepper said, playing the ATP Challenger event in Genova next week before getting back indoors at the Moselle Open in Metz.
Here in Como, the 29-year-old French lifts the “Trofeo Intesa SanPaolo” and takes away €6,150 in prize money as well as 90 ATP rankings. Cecchinato missed the chance to become the first Italian player taking the trophy in Como since Simone Bolelli won the inaugural edition back in 2006.