Giant-killer Fabio Fognini stopped a lesser-ranked opponent, but one on an almost-unstoppable roll when he edged Yannick Hanfmann 6-4, 7-5 on Sunday to win the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad for his first title of the year.
The 25-year-old Hanfmann was a qualifier, winning six matches in seven days during the week.
“Fabio was the better man today, he deserves to win,” said Hanfmann, who upset defending champion Feliciano Lopez and saved four match points in the semifinals, stunning Robin Haase. “I had an amazing week here in Gstaad, the crowd was great. I come from college tennis and I’m used to great crowds, but the atmosphere here was unbelievable.”
Hanfmann played for the University of Southern California and turned pro in 2015.
Fognini had 21 winners to 11 unforced errors, and claimed his first title since 2016 Umag. All five of his career titles have come on clay.
“It was a really tough week for me,” Fognini said. “I remember my first match was really difficult. I couldn’t play. I lost the first set 6-1 in 20 minutes, but in the end I won the match. I said to my team that if I continue playing like that, I’ll go home. That’s the sport. Every day I was feeling better and now I’m here with the title.”
Both players amazingly won every match in three sets leading to the final.
“This is the first title as a father, so it’s something different and special,” Fognini said.
The 30-year-old Italian improved to 5-8 in career finals.
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