At age 30, Fabio Fognini is showing he is far from retiring, far from no longer receiving fines for his outlandish behavior, and far from no longer winning titles, as he displayed Saturday in Sao Paulo.
The Italian 5-foot-10 stallion won his first title since 2017 Gstaad, also on clay, after defeating 22-year-old riser Nicolas Jarry 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the championship match at the Brasil Open.
“It is never easy to win a tournament,” Fognini said. “I managed to wait for Jarry’s serve to be less effective, that was the secret.”
Fognini lost the first 13 points of the contest as Jarry claimed the first set in 22 minutes.
Fognini in the second set fought off a break point in the first game, then sailed to the second set win 6-1 after Jarry “fell out of his tree,” sailing shots long that in the first set landed for winners, especially off the forehand side. The third set saw the Italian grind out a 6-4 win with the help of a 61 percent second serve points winning ratio to only 39 percent for the Chilean.
The No. 2-seeded Italian improved to 6-9 in career ATP finals, with all six wins coming on clay.
The fiery Fognini was handed a fine of almost $100,000 and a provisional ban from two Slams after calling a woman chair umpire a “whore” and “cocksucker” at last year’s US Open.
Prior to last month, Jarry had never reached the quarterfinals at the ATP level. Now over the last two months he has a quarterfinal effort to his credit at Quito, a semifinal at Rio de Janeio, and now his first final. The efforts will have him on the verge of cracking the Top 60 on the ATP rankings.
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