Argentina’s Delbonis wins first ATP title at Brazil Open

AP, SAO PAULO, Brazil

Tue, Mar 04, 2014 - Page 19

Argentine Federico Delbonis won his first ATP title by defeating Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Brazil Open final on Sunday.

Delbonis broke Lorenzi’s serve to start the decisive set and held on to close the match in 2 hours and 6 minutes after converting on his second match point.

The Argentine jumped and punched the air after the win capped a nearly perfect week in which he also reached the semi-finals of the tournament’s doubles event.

“To tell you the truth, I have no words,” Delbonis said. “I played well match after match.”

The 23-year-old lefty was playing only in his second ATP final, having lost to Fabio Fognini of Italy in July last year after upsetting Roger Federer at the Bet-at-Home Open semi-finals in Hamburg, Germany.

With the victory at the ATP 250 tournament in Sao Paulo, Delbonis will move to 45th in the ATP rankings, a career-best.

The 32-year-old Lorenzi, ranked 114th, had never advanced past the quarter-finals of an ATP singles tournament. He reached the Sao Paulo final by beating top-seeded German Tommy Hass, who retired in the semi-finals because of a shoulder injury while losing in the second set.

The Italian won the first set on Sunday after breaking Delbonis’ serve at 3-3, but the hard-hitting Argentine started serving well and was never broken again, finishing with 12 aces and no double faults.

Delbonis had earlier beat home-crowd favorite Thomaz Bellucci in the semis and second seed Nicolas Almagro — a three-time Brazil Open winner — in the second round.

It was the first time since 2007 that the event was not won by a Spanish player.

In the doubles final on Sunday, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain and Philipp Oswald of Austria beat Colombian duo Juan Sebastian Cabal and Roberto Farah 5-7, 6-4, 15-13. The Colombians, No. 5 in the world and second seeds in Sao Paulo, won the Rio Open last week

Delbonis reached the semi-finals of the doubles tournament playing with countryman Facundo Bagnis, losing to the eventual champions.