Fabio Fognini beats Del Potro in Mexico to win first hard-court title

Fabio Fognini beats Juan Martin Del Potro in Mexico to win his first hard-court title

Marianne Bevis
By Marianne Bevis

A post shared by Fabio Fognini (@fabiofogna) on

The 31-year-old Italian Fabio Fognini has continued to build one of the best seasons of his career with a swift victory over the top seed Juan Martin del Potro, 6-4, 6-2, in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Fognini was one of the clay-loving players who returned to the red stuff after Wimbledon, and duly won the Bastad title, having won in Sao Paulo at the beginning of March. But Los Cabos is his first hard-court title of the eight he now owns, and takes his tally of match wins to 35. His entire win total for last year was 36.

The win came in some style, too, after Fognini looked destined to go out of the tournament in his opener. He came back from a set down to beat Quentin Halys in three. But he did not lose another set all weeks, nor get taken beyond 6-4 in any match.

Del Potro, though, took a quick lead, 3-0, before Fognini settled in, ran the big Argentine ragged with his varied shot-making and tactical nous, and rattled off six of the next seven games.

He allowed del Potro just two more games in the second set, finishing off the win in under 80 minutes, taking him back to No14 in the ranks—one short of his highest place more than four years ago.

Del Potro summed up the Italian’s win:

“Fabio deserved to win. He played a very smart game. He took all the chances to win, and I think he’s a good winner of the tournament.”

Fognini was almost most for words:

“It’s amazing… He’s one of the best players… So I am really happy about my performance…

“It’s something strange because, of course, at the beginning of the week if you told me that we would be talking about titles… well, I am really happy, happy about this week, about my game. Of course, it means a lot for me.”

Both men now head to Toronto for the Rogers Cup Masters, and it so happens that they have fallen into the same eighth of the draw: The No3 and 14 seeds could meet in the third round.

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