15 May 2017

Rodrigues wins in Rome for first ITF 2 title in Europe

News Article

Photo: Antonio ConstantiniDaniel Rodrigues (BRA)

Brazil’s Daniel Rodrigues secured his first ITF 2 Series men’s singles title on European soil as the 2017 Internazionali d’Italia marked the eighth time that the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour event had shared the stage with the ATP and WTA Tour event at Foro Italico in Rome.

Rodrigues, runner-up Nico Langmann and Steffen Sommerfeld all improved on their results in Rome in 2016, Sommerfeld causing a minor upset with his 46 63 62 first round win over David Dalmasso to equal his head-to-head record with the Frenchman at a win apiece.

Langmann claimed something of a more significant upset and levelled his own career head-to-head with Kamil Fabisiak at two wins apiece after beating the Polish second seed 62 64 to earn a place in the semifinals.

Langmann had not played Sommerfeld since 2013 before they met in the last four in Rome and the Austrian 20-year-old levelled up another head-to-head at a win apiece as he booked his place in his first ITF 2 Series main draw singles final 61 63.

Rodrigues faced his toughest challenge in his opening match against Australia’s Adam Kellerman, a player the Brazilian had not beaten before in five previous meetings.

However, with Kellerman playing his first UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour match since the Rio Paralympics, Rodrigues made the most of of his more recent match experience to seal a 63 76(7) victory.

He went on to also defeat top seed Marc McCarroll for the first time with a 63 62 win in the semifinals and Rodrigues, a two-time ITF 2 champion on home soil at Semana Guga Kuerten in Brazil, completed his Rome triumph after beating Langmann 64 60.

There was a thrilling start to the men’s doubles as Silviu Culea provided some local success, the Italian partnering Langmann to beat top seeds Fabisiak and Sommerfeld 60 36 (10-8) after a deciding match tiebreak.

However, Culea and Langmann were unable to pull off another upset in the final, with second seeds McCarroll and Rodrigues taking the title 60 62.