Navone To Play Kicker For Challenger Villa Maria Title

Mariano Navone (photo: Challenger Villa Maria)

VILLA MARIA/STARNBERG, September 25, 2022

Argentine Mariano Navone has reached his third ATP Challenger Tour final of the season on home soil at the Challenger Dove Men+Care Villa Maria. The 21-year-old upset his compatriot and third favourite Facundo Bagnis, the last seeded player left in the singles draw of the $53,120 clay-court event, 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday.

In front of packed stands at the Sport Social Club in Villa Maria, Navone capitalized on six of his 10 break-point opportunities to seal victory in one hour and 27 minutes.

The World No. 333, who finished runner-up twice to Francisco Comesana at the tournaments in Buenos Aires and Corrientes, will take on Nicolas Kicker of Argentina in Sunday’s championship match.

The 30-year-old Merlo native rallied from a set down to outlast another Gaucho, Facundo Diaz Acosta, 6-7(3), 7-6(6), 6-4. Kicker outpointed his rival 131-129 after three hours and 47 minutes. It marked the longest match of this week’s tournament.

Navone is bidding for his first title on the Pro Circuit. Kicker could lift his fourth Challenger career trophy, his first since 2017 in Buenos Aires. The pair will meet for the first time.

Casanova/Rodriguez Taverna prevail in doubles

In other action, Hernan Casanova and Santiago Rodriguez Taverna claimed the doubles title. In an all-Argentine final, the No. 3 seeds defeated Ignacio Monzon and Facundo Juarez 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 10 minutes.

By winning their first Challenger team title, Casanova and Rodriguez Taverna split $3,100 in prize money and earned 80 ATP Doubles Ranking points.