Fabio Fognini saved three match points before beating Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis 4-6, 7-6 (10/8), 6-2 on Sunday to win the German Tennis Championships for his second title in two weeks.
The 12th-seeded Italian extended his winning run to 10 matches. He won his first career title last week in Stuttgart, Germany, also on clay.
Fognini trailed 4-1 in the second set after losing four straight games following a long discussion with officials over a warning. The Italian changed his racket after breaking a string, but took a long time going to the bench and was given a warning. He then engaged in a long argument with the chair umpire and tournament supervisor, and was unable to keep his game together, still muttering during changeovers.
However, Fognini finally settled down and rallied to level at 4-4. Delbonis squandered three match points in the tiebreaker on errors before Fognini converted his first set point.
Fognini quickly took control of the decisive set, but failed to serve out the match at 5-1. Delbonis led 40-0 in the next, but Fognini got back to deuce and won the match when Delbonis sent a forehand wide.
Fognini sank to his knees and pumped his fists, while a tired-looking Delbonis appeared dejected after losing his first career final.
Delbonis upset top-seeded Roger Federer in the semi-finals, but the left-hander ran out of steam on a hot day. He began the week ranked No. 114, but is projected to rise to No. 62 when the new rankings came out yesterday. Fognini is set to improve six spots to No. 19.
Fognini has 25 wins on clay this season, second only to Rafael Nadal’s 38.
CLARO OPEN COLOMBIA
Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who was struck down with viral meningitis earlier this year, celebrated his first title in five years on Sunday when he captured the Claro Open Colombia.
The 34-year-old giant defeated home hope Alejandro Falla, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) in the final.
Karlovic served a total of 104 aces during the claycourt tournament. The former world No. 14 is now projected to climb from 155 back into the top 100 with his victory.
“It was an unbelievable week,” Karlovic said.
Contesting his first final in three years, Karlovic won the opening set in 31 minutes after securing the only break in the fourth game. He was unable to capitalize on his three break points in the second set, but sealed the tie-break with two aces, taking his total for the final to 16.
Karlovic improved to a 5-3 mark in ATP finals, adding to his three titles in 2007 and the grasscourt crown in 2008 at Nottingham. He also became the 11th winner aged 30 and over on the tour this season.