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Delbonis Claims Maiden Title In Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Delbonis© Inovafoto/Brasil Open 2014Federico Delbonis won his first ATP World Tour title in Sao Paulo.

Federico Delbonis overcame an early deficit to capture his maiden ATP World Tour title on Sunday, defeating Paolo Lorenzi 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 at the Brasil Open 2014.

A battle of unseeded finalists in Sao Paulo, Delbonis and Lorenzi were each seeking their first tour-level title. The Argentine took full advantage in his shot at redemption, after failing to convert on three match points against Fabio Fognini in the Hamburg final last year, firing 12 aces and winning 84 per cent of first serve points for the victory.

Delbonis, the first unseeded Brasil Open champion since 2007 (Canas), had defeated home favourite and 2009 runner-up Thomaz Bellucci in the semi-finals following a second round upset of three-time titlist Nicolas Almagro (2008, 2011-12).

The 23 year old opened the final with consecutive holds to love, but Lorenzi began making inroads in the Argentine's service games, eventually procuring a break for 4-3 in the first set. Delbonis dug in his heels after dropping the opener, breaking in the fifth game of the second set and again to begin the third. He would convert on his second match point, slipping a forehand pass down the line.

"All the matches were complicated," Delbonis said. "I remember moments from each one of them, especially the one I had with Nico (Almagro) when I lost the first set. It was a hard moment but I was able to come back. I think that everything happened because of the calm attitude I had when facing the key moments. That allowed me to always find a solution and find again my best game."

Watch Final Highlights

The 32-year-old Lorenzi was looking to become the oldest first time winner since Wayne Arthurs (33) won in Scottsdale in 2005. The World No. 114 was also seeking to become the second Italian to win during the Golden Swing after Fognini prevailed in Vina del Mar. Remarkably, Lorenzi had never advanced past the quarter-finals of an ATP World Tour event. He would have been the first winner ranked outside the Top 100 in 2014.

"I loved the entire week here," said Lorenzi. "For me, it felt like my home. It has been incredible and I'm very happy. I tried to win the final, but he played the important points better and that's tennis." 

Delbonis’s title marks the first by a non-Spaniard in Sao Paulo in six years, with Rafael Nadal (2013), Nicolas Almagro (2008, 2011-12), Juan Carlos Ferrero (2010) and Tommy Robredo (2009) triumphing in that span.

Delbonis is projected to ascend 17 spots to a career-high World No. 44 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, taking home $85,900 in prize money. Lorenzi claims 150 Emirates ATP Ranking points and $45,245.

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