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Fognini Saves 3 M.P. In Hamburg For Second Title In As Many Weeks

Hamburg, Germany

Fognini© Getty ImagesFabio Fognini won his second ATP World Tour title in as many weeks.

Fabio Fognini won his second ATP World Tour title in as many weeks on Sunday.

Second seed Fognini saved three match points in the second set tie-break to beat qualifier Federico Delbonis 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-2 in the bet-at-home Open-German Tennis Championships final.

"It's an amazing week," said Fognini. "I can't believe it right now. I just feel incredible, a real good sensation. I'm very happy.

"I was, I think, a little bit lucky. I was nervous. Today, I didn't play really good, but I fought hard. I think that was the key. Another trophy, that’s the important thing. I want to enjoy [this] as soon as possible. I fly to Umag tomorrow and have another chance to play."

Fognini received €251,200 in prize money and 500 Emirates ATP Ranking points. Seven days ago, he captured the MercedesCup trophy in Stuttgart (d. Kohlschreiber). 

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Delbonis proved nerveless in the early stages of his first ATP World Tour final. He saved all five break points he faced, before he converted his first opportunity in the 10th game to clinch the 49-minute opener. 

In-form Fognini broke serve in the first game of the second set. Delbonis, 22, responded by winning four straight games to take a 4-1 lead.

As Roger Federer’s conqueror moved closer to victory, nerves set in and Fognini got back to 4-4. In a tense tie-break that went with serve to 5-5, Delbonis squandered three match points at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7. Arguably his best opportunity to win had come at 6-5, when Delbonis served out wide only miss a volley at the net. 

"I tried to do my best on the match points," said Delbonis. "I don't know if I played bad. I tried to do the best on the three points. But Fabio also played well on these points."

Fognini grew in confidence and could have taken a 4-0 lead in the decider. The World No. 25 served for his 30th match win of the season at 5-1, but Delbonis broke serve to 30. Fognini broke serve for the fifth time to complete victory in two hours and 28 minutes. 

Delbonis, currently No. 114 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, was attempting to become the seventh first-time winner on the ATP World Tour in 2013. He earned €114,510 and 300 Emirates ATP Ranking points.

He saved two match points to beat No. 14 seed Fernando Verdasco 6-7(5), 7-6(8), 6-4 in the quarter-finals on Friday. The last qualifier to win the Hamburg title was Albert Portas in 2001 (d. Ferrero).

"To lose the final with match points is disappointing," said Delbonis. "But at the end of the week, the result of all the week is positive or me. It's my first final. I beat Roger [Federer] yesterday [in the semi-finals]."

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