© Walter Locascio

Packed crowds watch the matches in Caltanissetta.

World-Class Tennis, Scenery Draws Fans To Caltanissetta

The ATP Challenger Tour staple enjoyed another successful year

Attendance for last week’s $125,000 event in Caltanissetta was among the highest this year on the ATP Challenger Tour, with more than 2,000 fans coming to watch the all-Italian final between Paolo Lorenzi and Matteo Donati.

The tournament concluded its 18th consecutive year and has become an annual staple in the small Sicilian town. Full crowds turned up each day and had plenty of local players to support, with 10 Italians competing in the main draw this year.

“They start matches late in the day so a lot of fans can come out and watch the matches,” explained American Bjorn Fratangelo, last year’s runner-up. “The tournament is great. The club is very nice and the centre court overlooks a valley. It's in the countryside and a small town, so the people really appreciate the tennis.”

Part of the tournament’s appeal is the scenic beauty that can be viewed throughout the site. The town lies in an area of rolling hills with small towns and villages, with one of the three hills that surrounds the ancient city visible from center court.

It’s one of the reasons why this year’s champion, top seed and local favourite Paolo Lorenzi, keeps coming back. He made his third career appearance this year in Caltanissetta, but assured it wouldn’t be his last.

"I think that Caltanissetta is great," said Lorenzi. "This tournament was fantastic and full of people and the organization was great. I'm sure that I will come back here."

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