Nadal Beats Fognini For Hamburg Crown
Rafael Nadal wins his 47th ATP World Tour clay-court title
Top seed Rafael Nadal beat Fabio Fognini 7-5, 7-5 to win the bet-at-home Open in Hamburg on Sunday. It was his 47th clay-court crown, moving him to within two red dirt titles of equalling Guillermo Vilas' record haul of 49.
The Spaniard improved to 67-29 in ATP World Tour finals as he exacted revenge on the Italian, who defeated him twice this year in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona. Nadal also improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Fognini to 5-2.
“I lost the last two times against him, so I knew it was going to be a tough one,” said Nadal. “I think I had a great attitude the whole match, very positive, fighting for every ball. I had some tough moments on court, lost opportunities, but every time I came back and I kept fighting with the right mentality. I’m very happy for the victory. It is an important victory for me.”
A 12-minute opening game saw Fognini break Nadal’s serve for an early 1-0 lead. Four breaks of serve later, Nadal finally earned the first hold for 3-2. The top seed would claim the opening set with a forehand down-the-line return winner after 77 minutes.
Watch Hot Shot: Fognini's Unexpected Shot
Nadal broke for a 3-1 lead in the second set, but Fognini maintained composure to break back. Later, three consecutive breaks of serve allowed Fognini the chance to serve for the second set. Nadal saved one set point and went on to break and level the set again at 5-all. As the Italian served to send the second set to a tie-break, Nadal capitalised on his first match point opportunity for victory in two hours and 34 minutes.
The 29-year-old Mallorcan extended his streak of having won at least one European ATP World Tour clay-court title each year since 2004 as he received €311,775 in prize money and 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points.
“Now the hard-court season is starting, it’s a different story," said Nadal. "But at the same time, I’ll keep going with the same mentality and this title helps to be a little bit more calm and add some points to my [Emirates ATP] Ranking to try to finish the year in the Top 8 again.”
Watch: Nadal Discusses Final Win
The eighth seed and 2013 champion Fognini falls to 3-7 in ATP World Tour finals and earned €140,560 and 300 Rankings points.
“I’m happy with the way I played during the week," said Fognini. "It was a great match. It was really tough.”