ROSETO DEGLI ABRUZZI/STARNBERG, March 9, 2022
The ATP Challenger Tour has returned to Italy this week for the inaugural Regione Abruzzo Aterno Gas & Power Cup I, the first of two back-to-back clay-court events being hosted by the Tennis Club Roseto in Roseto Degli Abruzzi. The beach resort on the Adriatic Sea has about about 25,000 inhabitants and is situated in the province of Teramo.
Carlos Taberner, top seed of the €45,730 ATP Challenger 80 tournament, began his title bid with a 7-6(7), 6-2 first-round win over Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia on Wednesday. In sunny but also chilly conditions with about 12 degrees Celsius, the World No. 105 from Spain capitalized on five of his 18 break-point chances to secure victory in two hours and 35 minutes.
Taberner, who seeking his fifth Challenger career crown, his first of the season, will next take on his compatriot Carlos Gimeno Valero. The 20-year-old qualifier from Valencia defeated Nino Serdarusic of Croatia 6-2, 7-5 in one hour and 34 minutes.
Italian alternate Andrea Arnaboldi knocked out No. 4 seed Nikola Milojevic of Serbia 6-4, 7-6(2). The 34-year-old Milan native won 53 per cent of the total points played to prevail after two hours and five minutes. Arnaboldi will next play Nuno Borges. The sixth favourite from Portugal rallied from a set down to overcome Italian qualifier Matteo Arnaldi 6-7(5); 7-5, 6-1. The longest encounter of the day lasted two hours and 48 minutes.
The point of the match, however, took place in doubles action when top seeds Hugo Nys from Monaco and Jan Zielinski of Poland defeated local wild card entries Francesco Maestrelli and Gabriele Piraino 6-2, 7-5 on Court 2.
Well, that’s a match point you don’t see every day. 👀
Sealing the victory on the other side of the net!
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) March 9, 2022