The 2012 ATP Orbetello Challenger gets underway on July 23rd with a strong field headed by Spain's Roberto Bautista-Agut.
Orbetello is a small town in Tuscany, situated on the edge of a giant lagoon and every July, it plays host to a 30K challenger tournament. For a 30K challenger, the field this year is pretty strong with five players in the top 200.
Bautista-Agut is currently ranked 118 and is enjoying a superb season which has seen him qualify for multiple ATP events (Australian Open, Miami Masters, Marseille and Casablanca) as well as win the Rome Challenger back in May.
Matteo Viola leads the Italian challenge but after reaching just a solitary challenger semi-final all year, it's hard to see Viola going deep. Instead Gianluca Naso is definitely the player to watch. A former junior rival of Andy Murray (they clashed in the 2005 junior French Open), Naso is enjoying a breakthrough season, climbing to a career high ranking of 175 after winning the San Benedetto Challenger last week, dropping just a single set in the process.
Argentina's Facundo Bagnis could also be a serious contender after winning the Arad Challenger in Romania earlier this week as well as globe-trotting Canadian Peter Polansky who made the final of an event in Panama City during Wimbledon fortnight.