PARMA, May 22, 2021 (by Lorenzo Carini)
The inaugural Emilia-Romagna Open Mutti Cup kicked off on Saturday at the Tennis Club President in Parma, Italy. The ATP 250 clay-court event follows the WTA 250 tournament held at the Tennis Club Parma won by American rising star Coco Gauff. The men’s event will be played behind closed doors during the first days waiting for further decisions by the Italian Government.
Italians Viola and Brancaccio advance in qualifying
Matteo Viola and Raul Brancaccio will represent Italy in the second round of the qualifying. World No. 248 Viola defeated Russian Evgeny Karlovskiy 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 in two hours and 30 minutes and will next play against No. 4 seed Mikael Ymer of Sweden. World No. 335 Brancaccio celebrated his first Top 100 win by defeating second seed and World No. 98 James Duckworth of Australia 7-5, 6-3. The 24-year-old wild card entry from Naples will next face Teymuraz Gabashvili, as the Russian made an amazing comeback, defeating German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber 1-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Purcell injured, Gombos to play Altmaier in final round
Top seed Norbert Gombos of Slovakia only played 25 minutes today as his opponent Max Purcell of Australia was forced to retire during the first set, leading 4-1 due to a low back injury. The World No. 87 will try to qualify for the main draw, facing Germany’s Daniel Altmaier, who defeated Pavel Kotov from Russia 6-3, 6-1. In other action, Spaniard Pedro Martinez defeated Italian wild card entry Francesco Passaro 6-4, 6-1 and Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi won 6-3, 7-5 against American Ulises Blanch.
Main draw action starts on Sunday
Main draw will start on Centre Court Sunday at 1.30 pm with Stefano Travaglia, who has recently ended his coaching partnership with Simone Vagnozzi, taking on sixth seed Tommy Paul from the United States followed by the ATP debut by Italian wild card Flavio Cobolli, who will oppose American Marcos Giron.
EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN SINGLES Q1 – RESULTS
 Norbert Gombos (SVK) d. Max Purcell (AUS) 4-1 Ret.
 Daniel Altmaier (GER) d. Pavel Kotov (RUS) 6-3 6-1
[WC] Raul Brancaccio (ITA) d.  James Duckworth (AUS) 7-5 6-3
Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) d.  Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 1-6 7-5 6-2
 Pedro Martinez (ESP) d. [WC] Francesco Passaro (ITA) 6-4 6-1
 Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) d. Ulises Blanch (USA) 6-3 7-5
 Mikael Ymer (SWE) d. Facundo Mena (ARG) 6-1 6-4
 Matteo Viola (ITA) d. Evgeny Karlovskiy (RUS) 7-5 5-7 7-5