Fognini Overwhelms Lajovic For First Masters Title In Monte Carlo

by Staff | April 21st, 2019, 3:03 pm
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Fabio Fognini finished off his best career week capturing his biggest title in Monte Carlo today, overwhelming Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4.

Fognini’s road to the final saw him author two incredible comeback wins over Andrey Rublev and Borna Coric, then he handed clay king Rafael Nadal one his worst career losses on the surface. And today, stayed strong against the Serb who was also playing in his first Masters final after posting wins over Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev.

“I’m really, really happy. Nothing to say,” Fognini said. “I have to keep calm, maybe take a shower, relax, and think about this because it’s something incredible.”

“I won a big tournament that was always my goal in my career,” Fognini said. “I think everybody, when you’re growing up and you start and you decide to play tennis, you are dreaming to win a big tournament. We are talking about a Masters.”

Fognini found himself down a quick break, but got back and eventually broke Lajovic four times behind his slappy forehand.

The 31-year-old had only reached two previous Masters semifinals before this week, and now with US Open champion wife Flavia Pennetta, the family has quite a trophy case. He will also climb to a career-high No. 12 in the rankings.

The 28-year-old Lajovic will also ascend to a new high, from No. 48 to 24 after his best week on tour.

“Fabio is a guy who knows how to play in these conditions. He has great hands. He’s moving really well. So I was feeling on the court that I had to work much harder than him to win the points. I think this was the key,” Lajovic said. “He was pretty stable and solid from both sides, moving well. And when I was on and when I was aggressive, I was able to make points and put him under pressure. But at times, my game was just off.

“I had a lot of unforced errors. One thing was that it was windy. The other thing was I was under the pressure of the finals of the moment, and all together, I think he was the much better player today.”

Fognini becomes the 22nd different champion in 23 events this year on the ATP. He’s also the 8th first time Masters winner in the last 17 events at the Masters level.

The Italian entered the week with just four wins on the season. Now he’ll be among the Top 8 in the ATP points race.

For a tournament with Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and others, it was remarkable to see two players outside the Top 15 make the final.

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