SAO PAULO/STARNBERG, December 5, 2021
Italian teenager Luciano Darderi and Juan Pablo Ficovich of Argentina will compete in Sunday’s singles final of the Dove Men & Care Challenger Sao Paulo, being held at the Clube Hipico De Santo Amaro.
The 19-year-old qualifier received a walkover from Brazilian Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves, who was tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday morning and had to withdraw from the $52,080 clay-court tournament.
Following his maiden triumph in doubles alongside Argentine Juan Buatista Torres in Buenos Aires two months ago, Darderi advanced to his first championship match at Challenger level in singles.
“I am very happy with the week here in Sao Paulo. I reached the final in a different way, as (Felipe) Meligeni can’t play today and I hope to finish the tournament with the title,” said Darderi.
Ficovich knocked off No. 5 seed Nicolas Jarry from Chile 6-2, 7-6(5). The 24-year-old Buenos Aires native withstood six aces and broke his opponent’s serve three times to secure victory in one hour and 35 minutes.
Ficovich, a winner of nine ITF Pro Circuit titles, will also appear in his first singles final on the ATP Challenger Tour. The World No. 285 and Darderi will meet for the first time.
“Jarry is an experienced player, but he managed to be more consistent in the important moments of the match. It will be a great final tomorrow. Darderi is a new player, he plays well, with speed and he’s been having a good week here,” said Ficovich.
Barrientos/Gomez win doubles title
Due to the withdrawal Meligeni Rodrigues Alves, Nicolas Barrientos and Alejandro Gomez were crowned doubles champions without playing the final. The No. 4 seeds from Colombia were scheduled to take on the 23-year-old Brazilian alongside his fellow countryman Rafael Matos.
By winning their first team title, Barrientos and Gomez split $3,100 in prize money and pocketed 80 ATP Doubles Ranking points.
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