Lucia Bronzetti ITA, December 10, 1998 – Photo Nico Aguilera
Just like Bagnis, ours too Luciano Darderi made it from qualifying to the final of the Córdoba Open. This will be the third final in the Open Era between two qualified players (the last one was in Kitzbühel in 2018). The decisive game will take place on Sunday after the double final at 11 p.m. in Italy and will be broadcast by SkySport.
Darderi sealed the victory on the third match point. “I started having cramps, a normal reaction given the nervousness and the audience turning against me. What happened tonight is unbelievable, but I think I have the necessary level to compete in games on the big circuit.”, explained the player, born on the coast of Buenos Aires province, a few minutes after the triumph, his eyes shining with tears at the thought that this performance in Córdoba would allow him to enter the top 100 of the world rankings for the first time in his career: “It is the dream of every tennis player at the beginning of his career. I'm 21 years old and still have a lot to learn, but this confirms to me that I'm on the right path.” Darderi turns 22 next Wednesday. His career is marked by numerous notable appearances on the Challenger Tour, the secondary circuit of the professional tour. He is coached by Gino, his father, who also follows the career of Vito, Luciano's younger brother, who is still active at the junior level. He has not yet taken part in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament and is playing his third ATP tournament in Córdoba after last year – eliminated here in Cordoba in the round of 16 – and in Acapulco.
In the final he will face the hosts, Facundo Bagnis, ranked 207th in the ATP. A game that on paper appears to be within his grasp and offers him the opportunity to add another 85 points to his tally in the world rankings. Reaching the final has already given Darderi a jump of 42 positions, moving him from 136th to 94th with 637 points, overtaking Fabio Fognini, among others.
But Darderi's ambitions don't stop there. Victory in Cordoba would not only be the culmination of a dream week, but would lift him to 76th place with 722 points and pave the way for new and even more ambitious goals for the current season, including direct participation in the main rounds of the Grand Slam -Tournaments.
Bagnis is nearing his 34th birthday (on February 27) and is moving closer to his goals related to longevity in tennis. At 33 years and 348 days, he became the oldest South American tennis player to reach an ATP final in the Open Era, surpassing the record of Guillermo Vilas, who reached (defeated) the Forest Hills final in 1986 at 33 years and 267 days. . by Yannick Noah). Of course, this data is more of a statistical curiosity than a real comparison between the pioneer of Argentine tennis, winner of four Grand Slam tournaments, and a fighter on the circuit.