After the first victory on the circuit the 2003 class gives up fighting in two sets 7-6 (2) 7-6 (3). Next stop is Florence, but checks are needed
A hint of bitterness for not being able to take that extra step – because tennis is there and you can see it – but at the same time the satisfaction of being able to bring the world No. 6 to the tie-break, twice row, at 19. Luca Nardi comes out with his head held high, very high from the Astana tournament where, after winning his first victory at the ATP level, today he also shook the Top 10 Stefanos Tsitsipas. A capital performance that of the Marches, who in addition to having fought to the last point despite a muscle problem in his left leg found at the end, never conceded anything to the service and in the second set he even got two break opportunities against the Athens player, who then won 7-6 (2) 7-6 (3).
And to think just over a year ago Nardi struggled with the thought of still feeling out of place among the big names but now there is no longer any doubt. After demanding weeks that have brought results, smiles and satisfactions, between Mallorca and Astana, the Next Gen of Pesaro can finally say that it is exactly in the right place at the right time. The 19-year-old will now return to Italy to compete in the ATP 250 in Florence but will first undergo all the necessary medical checks to make sure he is in top form, given the physical problem encountered today against Tsitsipas. Nardi received a Wild Card for the main draw of the event together with the other two Next Gen Francesco Passaro and Francesco Maestrelli, and in the next week he can also hope for an invitation to Naples, where he could gain further experience.
In the meantime, in Astana the path of Novak Djokovic begins in the best possible way, with a double 6-1 against Chilean Garin, in the next round he will find the Dutch Botic Van De Zandschulp. All easy also for the Russian Andrey Rublev, who eliminated the Chinese Zhang 6-3 6-2. David Goffin leaves the scene after being fished out as lucky loser, beaten by Mannarino with a score of 3-6 6-1 7-5. Marin Cilic struggled more than expected with the German Otte, being forced to catch up one set before closing 5-7 7-6 (4) 6-2. Bautista Agut, on the other hand, has already earned a place in the quarter-finals by finishing in two sets with the other lucky loser Kotov (6-1 7-6). Finally, in the lower part of the board, Daniil Medvedev’s opponent has been decided: it will be Emiil Rusuuvuori, who has left only two games to Huesler (6-0 6-2).
5 October – 21:52
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