The Italian port metropolis of Genoa has lengthy been identified for its vibrant tradition and picturesque location. Nestled on the fringe of the Mediterranean Sea, it is likely one of the busiest ports in Europe and has a wealthy historical past of artwork and music.

Whereas vacationers flock all 12 months spherical to Genoa and the Italian Riviera area, it’s the metropolis 's first sporting occasion that occupies a central place throughout the first week of September. For 17 years, the AON Open Challenger has hosted the best ATP Challenger circuit on the Valletta Cambiaso Park.

Sergio Palmieri, match director of the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome, additionally directs the present in Genoa. He has seen his match flourish over time and has develop into an elite occasion on the Challenger circuit. Hundreds of spectators go day-after-day to the central court docket, together with a sold-out crowd for Wednesday night time's session, with former world No. 16 Philipp Philipp Kohlschreiber and Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti .

It's a sight to see 12 months after 12 months. Just like Rome's Foro Italico, the location contains tall timber surrounding the primary stadium and ampitheatre-style seating. Followers have the sensation of being a part of the motion whereas they dominate the court docket.

This week, a gaggle of stars invaded Genova, together with seven gamers rating among the many prime 100 within the ATP rankings. Defending champion and prime seed Lorenzo Sonego is joined by Kohlschreiber, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Marco Cecchinato and Italian youngsters Musetti and Giulio Zeppieri.

One other Italian #NextGenATP additionally made an look this week, however with out his rackets. Jannik Sinner, the 18-year-old, made headlines on the US Open after qualifying for the qualifiers. He visited the spectacular Challenger of his nation. Scheduled to succeed in a profession excessive no 128 on Monday, he’s already the youngest of the 200 greatest.

"I’m very glad for the second and hope to proceed on this path," Sinner mentioned. "Let's look forward to the tip of the season to return again on the work carried out up to now."

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Genoa has a powerful checklist of champions, with Fabio Fognini elevating the trophy in 2008 and 2010, Dustin Brown in 2013, Nicolas Almagro in 2015 and most not too long ago Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2017. It was the one one on the planet. distinctive Greek crown of the Challenger.

The match is a champion itself, having received the Challenger title of the 12 months in 2014. The occasion is happy with its nice fan expertise, but in addition of its numerous group initiatives. Two years in the past, they went inexperienced with many tasks targeted on a wholesome way of life and a wholesome surroundings. And the match was a supply of consolation within the face of the tragedy. In 2016, they donated all proceeds to victims of an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 and, final 12 months, they offered a supply of inspiration after the earthquake. partial collapse of Ponte Morandi's iconic bridge.

On Sunday, the 17th champion shall be topped on the AON Open Challenger throughout Sonego's bout in opposition to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The defending champion and hopeful at dwelling is likely one of the three Italian stars of the High 50 ranked ATP, ranked No. 49. Within the meantime, his opponent #NextGenATP is aiming for a primary Challenger title. Davidovich Fokina, 20, is certain to be within the High 100 with the title.

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