Dzumhur Clinches First ATP Crown In St. Petersburg
Dzumhur overcomes third seed Fognini
Damir Dzumhur captured his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday as he completed a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 comeback victory over Fabio Fognini in the final of the St. Petersburg Open.
The Sarajevo native is the first player from Bosnia and Herzegovina to win an ATP World Tour singles title. Hot on the heels of Peter Gojowczyk’s victory at the Moselle Open in Metz (read more), Dzumhur is the seventh first-time champion on the ATP World Tour this season.
"I was very nervous today, even though it was my second final. I was very nervous at the start," said Dzumhur. "I couldn't find my best rhythm, couldn't find my best game. But the experience of playing one final already helped me a lot and in the end I won. In the end I found my game and played good. It was the best day of my life."
The 25-year-old Dzumhur has gone 15-3 in tour-level matches since 31 July in a career-best run that will see him move to around No. 40 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, making him the first player from Bosnia and Herzegovina to break the Top 50. Dzumhur received 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $178,480 in prize money.
Coming into St. Petersburg, Dzumhur had been on a strong run of form that saw him make the semi-finals in Los Cabos (l. to Querrey), reach his first ATP World Tour final in Winston-Salem (l. to Bautista Agut) and make the third round of the US Open (l. to Rublev).
Dzumhur overturned a 0-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Fognini as he upset the third-seeded Italian in one hour and 54 minutes. Fognini had battled into his 14th ATP World Tour final after saving two match points against Roberto Bautista Agut in the semi-finals, and strolled to the first set against Dzumhur with two breaks of serve.
But the tide turned against the Italian from 4-4 in the second set as Dzumhur seized the initiative with a run of four straight games to level the match and break at the start of the third set. A second break for Dzumhur in the seventh game sealed victory for the right-hander.
"In the second set I started to serve better," said Dzumhur. "After one break (at 2-2 in the second set), he broke me back. But I knew that I could break him again and I was returning better. That first break was very important for the whole match."
The 30-year-old Fognini had been bidding to win his second ATP World Tour of the season, following victory on clay in Gstaad in July (d. Hanfmann). The Italian drops to a 5-9 record in finals, having also finished runner-up in the 2012 edition of the St. Petersburg Open (l. to Klizan).