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MERCEDES CUP 2013
FIRST TIME WINNER SPOTLIGHT: FABIO FOGNINI
by ATP Staff | 14.07.2013
Fabio Fognini captured his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the Mercedes Cup with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over second seed Philipp Kohlschreiber. He now has a 1-2 record in finals.
The 26-year-old Fognini joined Carlos Berlocq, who also won his first ATP World Tour title at the SkiStar Swedish Open. Read Berlocq Spotlight Feature
ATPWorldTour.com caught up with World No. 31 Fognini prior to departure for next week's bet-at-home Open - Germany Tennis Championships 2013 in Hamburg.
How does it feel to be standing here with the trophy and taking home the Mercedes while becoming the first Italian to win the title?
I am happy to have won my first title. It was a really good week. Amazing!
You didn’t lose a set en route to the final and you beat the No. 1 [Tommy Haas] and No. 2 [Kohlschreiber] seeds. How did you put it all together?
It is always difficult to play in Germany against Haas, who has been in the Top 10, and also Kohlschreiber, who I have always lost to. Today and during the week, my tennis worked well.
What did you do well during the week to win five matches for the first time in an ATP World Tour tournament?
I was more relaxed. I tried to enjoy every point, game and match. Mentally, I was really, really strong. I think that was the key to the week.
It was your third ATP World Tour final. Do you feel like the third time was the charm?
Probably. I don’t know. I was feeling amazing every day and my confidence grew as the week went on.
Did you approach this final differently than you did in the other two?
I have to be honest that I slept only three hours last night. My worst night of the week.
Is clay your best surface and what is your strength?
I think it is my best surface. I was born in Italy and trained in Spain. I played my first final indoors. My next goal is to play another final indoors or on a hard court and try to win.
With yourself and Andreas [Seppi] in the Top 25 earlier this season, what is the overall state of Italian tennis?
We have two Top 30 players, so it is a nice feeling for Italian tennis. Andreas and I are friends off the court, so I wish him the best of luck.
You’ve finished in the Top 50 the past two years; do you have a ranking goal for this year?
No. I think my goal was to stay focused on my physically and mental conditioning. I would like to stay in the Top 30, but importantly improve my game, especially on hard courts.
You’re had a lot of different people help you during your career. Is there anyone who you would like to thank for their support?
My family is my greatest supporters. My father, mother, sister and now my girlfriend, thanks for everyone. Thanks to my coach [Jose Perlas] and physio, who have worked hard with me over the past two years.
When you were younger growing up, did you have any one as a role model?
Carlos Moya was my idol. When I played him for the first time [at 2006 Buenos Aires] it was really exciting. I had the opportunity to beat him as well in Umag . Of course my coach also coached him.
BET-AT-HOME OPEN - GERMAN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013
Fognini Saves 3 M.P. In Hamburg For Second Title In As Many Weeks
by ATP Staff | 21.07.2013
Fabio Fognini won his second ATP World Tour title in as many weeks on Sunday.
Second seed Fognini saved three match points in the second set tie-break to beat qualifier Federico Delbonis 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-2 in the bet-at-home Open-German Tennis Championships final.
"It's an amazing week," said Fognini. "I can't believe it right now. I just feel incredible, a real good sensation. I'm very happy.
"I was, I think, a little bit lucky. I was nervous. Today, I didn't play really good, but I fought hard. I think that was the key. Another trophy, that’s the important thing. I want to enjoy [this] as soon as possible. I fly to Umag tomorrow and have another chance to play."
Fognini received €251,200 in prize money and 500 Emirates ATP Ranking points. Seven days ago, he captured the MercedesCup trophy in Stuttgart (d. Kohlschreiber).
Delbonis proved nerveless in the early stages of his first ATP World Tour final. He saved all five break points he faced, before he converted his first opportunity in the 10th game to clinch the 49-minute opener.
In-form Fognini broke serve in the first game of the second set. Delbonis, 22, responded by winning four straight games to take a 4-1 lead.
As Roger Federer’s conqueror moved closer to victory, nerves set in and Fognini got back to 4-4. In a tense tie-break that went with serve to 5-5, Delbonis squandered three match points at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7. Arguably his best opportunity to win had come at 6-5, when Delbonis served out wide only miss a volley at the net.
"I tried to do my best on the match points," said Delbonis. "I don't know if I played bad. I tried to do the best on the three points. But Fabio also played well on these points."
Fognini grew in confidence and could have taken a 4-0 lead in the decider. The World No. 25 served for his 30th match win of the season at 5-1, but Delbonis broke serve to 30. Fognini broke serve for the fifth time to complete victory in two hours and 28 minutes.
Delbonis, currently No. 114 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, was attempting to become the seventh first-time winner on the ATP World Tour in 2013. He earned €114,510 and 300 Emirates ATP Ranking points.
He saved two match points to beat No. 14 seed Fernando Verdasco 6-7(5), 7-6(8), 6-4 in the quarter-finals on Friday. The last qualifier to win the Hamburg title was Albert Portas in 2001 (d. Ferrero).
"To lose the final with match points is disappointing," said Delbonis. "But at the end of the week, the result of all the week is positive or me. It's my first final. I beat Roger [Federer] yesterday [in the semi-finals]."
Source: ATP World Tour website