Prato, May 1, 2022 – The 38th Under 18 International Youth Tournament “Città di Prato” has started with the qualifying rounds. After two years of waiting, due to the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, children under 18 with their teachers and families return to via Firenze. Sunday May 1 and Monday May 2 will be days dedicated to the preliminaries with the aim of entering the main draw (4 men and 4 women). In the men’s category, the first four favorites are the Danes Ganley Bonsach, Giuseppe Corsaro, Matteo Covato and Gianluca Cadenasso while the women’s Francesca Gandolfi is number one after Emma Penne, the American Monika Wojcik and Gaia Maduzzi.
In the first matches played on the courts of Tc Prato, including in the central Ciardi-Focosi, the Florence coach’s player, Bianca Caselli, beat Mia Chiantella 63 67 10-3, while Leone De Marzi and Guido Mantellassi defended among the Prato players. Meanwhile, there are the first arrivals of the athletes who will compete in the main draw and there is the return to Tuscany and Tc Prato of Noemi Basiletti, Italian champion in the under 12, 13 and 14 categories and now under 16 who trains at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain.
“After a very long period I return to Italy and I will play in Prato and then I will play against Bonfiglio – explains the player who plays for Tc Prato – It is clear that returning home is always a pleasure, but my choice was to try to become I am a professional tennis player and in this period I worked a lot both technically and physically. Many tell me that I look a bit like Flavia Pennetta and I really hope I can imitate her because she has always been my favorite. The goal is to compete in the Grand Slam tournaments, not the junior but the WTAs, and I’m trying to prepare myself to be able to play at those levels.” At the women’s level, Yulia’s victories stand out in the Itf Under 18 Città di Prato, Putintseva scoring twice in both 2009 and 2010, while Roberta Vinci lifted the trophy in 1999, preceding two other future stars of the WTA ranking, the Russians Vera Zvonareva and Dinara Safina.
At the beginning of this 28th edition, 25 nations representing all continents show that Prato is confirmed as a very welcome event for its hospitality and with a tradition that has seen many young champions play and win, who later entered the top ten of the international tennis. The director of the tournament is the maestro Antonio Maccioni while Riccardo De Biase has been appointed as referee of the event The main draw that will begin on Tuesday, May 3 has 32 players in the men’s category and 32 in the women’s category and they are joined by the tournaments of doubles. The final will take place at the Ciardi-Focosi center on Saturday, May 7, starting at 2:30 p.m. and during the event, access to the tournament will be free and it will be a great opportunity for the many tennis fans to see the future tennis champions. living world. As is tradition, the Loris Ciardi Trophy will be awarded to those who win the event twice in a row, while the winners will receive the Nations Trophy, the Marini Industrie Trophy and the Checcacci Dealership Trophy. The event is sponsored by the Municipality of Prato and the Coni.