MANERBIO, August 6, 2019
After a one-year hiatus, the ATP Challenger Tour is back in Manerbio, a town and comune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy, northern Italy. First-round matches of the Internazionali di Manerbio Trofeo “Dimmidisi” got underway on Monday with 17-year-old Italian Giulio Zeppieri in action.
The teenager opened his home campaign with a 6-4, 7-6(3) win over Aldin Setkic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Zeppieri, who finished runner-up at the ITF World Tennis Tour event in Pontedera two weeks ago and made it into the semi-finals of the Parma Challenger last month, converted three of his 10 break point chances to advance in one hour and 44 minutes. Up next for Zeppieri will be No. 14 seeded US-American Evan King.
Andrea Pellegrino also made a winning start into the clay-court tournament with a total prize money of €46,600. The 22-year-old Italian saved one match point to fight past Carlos Gomez-Herrera of Spain 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(7) in two hours and 37 minutes.
“I started quite well, with good intensity,” Pellegrino said. “I gained a break in the second set but couldn’t take the opportunity and ended up losing the set. I played badly. The third was a battle, as he served well and conditions were not easy.”
After many years at the Centro FIT di Tirrenia, Pellegrino has returned home to Bisceglie. “I work together with my physical coach Mauro Atencio, who is with me here in Manerbio. On an athletic level we are doing a great job, I’ve known Mauro for a long time, ever since I worked in Tirrenia and he spent a year there. He’s a very positive person. He gives me energy and I’m glad to have him with me,” Pellegrino said. “Sometimes my father helps me out. I’m looking for a coach, as it will help to improve. But it is not easy to find someone during the mid-season, because they already have agreements with other players. I hope to find one in September, for now I adapt with what I have and I try to do my best.” Pellegrino will next take on Sadio Doumbia of France.
The tournament’s top favourites will step into action on Wednesday led by World No. 114 Paolo Lorenzi. The Italian veteran will start his title bid against Peter Torebko of Germany, who rallied past Inigo Cervantes from Spain 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. No. 2 seed Lorenzo Giustino of Italy awaits the winner of the encounter between Italian qualifier Marco Bortolotti and Martin Cuevas of Uruguay.