VEGETA CROATIA OPEN UAMG 2013
Resurgent Robredo Ends Fognini Streak
by ATP Staff|
The resurgence of Tommy Robredo took another step forward Sunday as he captured his second title of the year at the Vegeta Croatia Open Umag. The veteran Spaniard finally halted Fabio Fognini’s 13-match winning streak, beating the Italian 6-0, 6-3 in the clay-court final.
"I'm more than happy," said Robredo. "I've been a professional for nearly 15 years and this is my 12th title, so there have not been many times with trophies. I love the emotion.
"Before the match, I was talking to my coach and I was saying, 'It's lovely to be waiting to play a final and you are nervous.' Money can't buy this feeling and I'm lucky to be part of this sport and lucky to have the chance to feel these feelings. I enjoy it and I know how to handle it."
Robredo began the year at World No. 114 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, having tumbled down the order due to injury. After compiling a 28-15 match record in 2013, the 31-year-old Spaniard, a former World No. 5, has returned to the Top 30 and claimed his second title of the year as he dismissed Fognini in 62 minutes.
The fifth-seeded Robredo surged through the opening set, surrendering just one point on serve and six in total as he took a commanding lead. Fognini, who has saved match points galore in his stellar three weeks, including three against Gael Monfils in Saturday’s semi-finals, rallied briefly in the second set, breaking for a 2-1 lead. His advantage was short-lived, though, as Robredo won five of the last six games.
"I played lovely. I played great," said Robredo. "It was a perfect match. It's not easy to play a final and I played very good. I served okay, I returned okay. To win today, I think I did a great job."
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It was their first meeting since 2011 and saw Robredo improve to a 4-1 lead over Fognini in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Robredo earned 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €74,000.
Thirteen ATP World Tour titles this season have now been won by players aged 30 and over, already matching last year’s total.
Robredo, who won his first title for two years when he triumphed at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca in April (d. Anderson), improved to a 12-7 finals record. The right-hander has captured nine of his past ten ATP World Tour clay finals, beginning with 2006 Hamburg (d. Stepanek); his only loss came in Warsaw in 2008 (l. to Davydenko).
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Fognini had been on a tear in the past three weeks. The Italian commanded the fourth longest win-streak of the season as he won his first two ATP World Tour titles at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart (d. Kohlschreiber) and the bet-at-home Open - German Tennis Championships in Hamburg (d. Delbonis).
The 26-year-old Fognini broke into the Top 20 of the Emirates ATP Rankings this week and is set to rise to around a new career-high of No. 16 after earning 150 points with the runner-up performance.
"It was an incredible week," said Fognini. "I go home with a lot of happiness. I'm a little bit disappointed, but even if you're Roger or Rafa, you're going to lose some time. I've played three incredible weeks and they're going to stay in my head for the rest of my life."