Luca Nardi French Open 2022 qualifying

Five things to know about Luca Nardi

Luca Nardi is a man working his way to join the likes of Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti at the head of Italian men’s tennis. 

Allow Tennishead to help you read up on the up-and-coming youngster with what we think you ought to know about him.

1) Background

Luca Nardi was born on 6th August 2003 in Pesaro in the Marche region in western central Italy. Despite this, Nardi is a supporter of Sicilian football team Napoli.

“I support Naples,” he told Corriere Adriatico in 2018. “My father (Dario) is from Naples, so I’m half Neapolitan.”

His passion for tennis began when watching brother Niccolo play. He first picked up a racket himself at the age of 7.

3) In esteemed company

Carlos Alcaraz made headlines the world over when he won the 2022 US Open. Not only was he the youngest men’s champion there for more than 30 years, he also became the youngest ATP world number one ever.

In fact, if you trawl down the rankings, you will not find a younger man until you reach Luca Nardi. Ranked 132nd at time of publication the Italian is three months younger than Alcaraz.

2) Luca Nardi the little champion

Les Petits As (little aces or little champions) is a junior tennis tournament held annually in Tarbes, France. It attracts the top boys’ and girls’ talent between the ages of 12-14. The event boasts Slam champions Rafael Nadal, Michael Chang, Martina Hingis and Kim Clijsters among its past winners.

In 2017, a 13-year-old Luca Nardi entered the 64-player draw as the fourth seed. After three wins he met fifth seed Toby Kodat in the quarter-finals, winning 7-5. 6-2. He then faced top seed Holger Rune, also aged 13. He took out the Dane 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Finally, the youngster downed third seeded Serb Hamad Medjedovic 6-2, 7-5. In doing so he became the second Italian champion ever after Samuele Ramazzotti won the boys tournament in 2013.


4) Challenger success

Luca Nardi began 2022 ranked 346th in the world. He immediately won his first Challenger title at the Città di Forlì Challenger back home in Italy. In April he won another in Lugano, Switzerland after breaking into the top 300.

After his third ever ATP main draw appearance in Hamburg, Nardi added another Challenger title. this one came in Mallorca, Spain concurrent with the US Open. This took him into the top 150 of the rankings for the first time.


5) Luca Nardi pushes a Slam finalist close

Luca Nardi failed to qualify for Metz and Tel Aviv after Mallorca. Not to be deterred, he qualified for his fouth ever tour level main draw in Astana, Kazakhstan. He did so with wins over Les Petits As 2017 final opponent Hamad Medjedovic and former world number seven David Goffin.

Victory in the first round saw him face world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas next. And the Italian gave a strong account of himself against the Greek. Though Tsitsipas did win 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-3), he failed to even secure a break point chance against Nardi. A solid performance saw Nardi just edged out by the eventual finalist, but no doubt this match was exemplary of his steel.


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