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Fognini Upends Mayer For Vina del Mar Title

Viña del Mar, Chile

Fognini© Jim RydellFabio Fognini wins his third ATP World Tour title.

Fabio Fognini capped off another successful clay campaign on Sunday, cruising past Leonardo Mayer 6-2, 6-4 in the Royal Guard Open Chile final.

It was Fognini’s third ATP World Tour crown in his last four clay tournaments, having captured the hardware in Stuttgart and Hamburg last July. The World No. 15 extended his dominant run on the surface to 19-1 since Roland Garros of last year.

With the win, Fognini halted Argentina’s two-year reign atop the Vina del Mar throne, stopping Mayer in his first final bid on the ATP World Tour.

The top seed was denied on his first four match points, including a pair on Mayer’s serve at 5-3 in the second set. He would claim victory on his fifth, sealing the match after 83 minutes.

Fognini was brutally efficient on serve, not facing a break point and winning 84 per cent (38/45) of total service points. He capitalised on three of 13 break opportunities created on the Argentine’s serve.

"This was another important week for me," said Fognini. "I was coming from reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open after overcoming an injury I had earlier in the year. I couldn’t ask for a better start of the season. It’s the third title, it’s important, and now I go to Buenos Aires with a lot of confidence”.

The Italian improved to 9-3 in the Chilean coastal city, having most recently reached the semi-finals in 2011. He earned $77,315 in prize money and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points with the victory, further solidifying himself in the Top 15.

Mayer claimed $40,720 and 150 Emirates ATP Rankings points for his run to the final. The Argentine will ascend 33 spots to World No. 58, seven spots shy of his career-high which was attained in 2010.

“I didn’t play that well today and he played incredible," said Mayer. "I was sick in the morning, I almost didn’t play, but later the doctors and I decided that I could play."

The 26-year-old Mayer had entered the title match as the fourth straight player to appear in the Vina del Mar final with a first career title on the line. Fellow Argentine Horacio Zeballos accomplished the feat last year in upsetting Rafael Nadal.

Despite a career-best week that included a second round win over second-seed Tommy Robredo, Mayer fell to 0-2 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head with Fognini. He previously dropped a second round decision in Stuttgart in 2013.

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