Read & Watch: Fognini Shocks Delpo In Los Cabos
The “Mexican Double” will have to wait till next year.
Italian Fabio Fognini stunned Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday to win the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex title in Los Cabos. It's Fognini's eighth ATP World Tour crown but his first on hard courts. The 31-year-old had previously triumphed only on clay.
But Fognini showed another level against Del Potro and added another accolade to what is quietly becoming one of his best years on tour. He's won three ATP World Tour titles this season (Sao Paulo, Bastad), a career best, and on Monday, Fognini is projected to rise one spot in the ATP Rankings to No. 14, only one mark off his career-high of No. 13, which he last reached more than four years ago, in April 2014.
“It's something strange because, of course, at the beginning of the week if you told me that we would be talking about titles... I am really happy, happy about this week, about my game. Of course it means a lot for me,” Fognini said.
Del Potro won their only prior FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting (2015 Sydney) and was going for his second title in Mexico this year (Acapulco, d. Anderson). He started perfectly, leading 3-0 and having little trouble with Fognini's attempts to bring him to net with drop shots.
But Fognini settled in, defending from all parts of the court and using his forehand to push Del Potro behind the baseline. The Argentine, after a strong start, lost his way, even on his usually reliable forehand wing. Fognini returned everything and took his chances with Del Potro's second serve, winning 71 per cent of those points (15/21). The Italian won 12 of the final 15 games.
Watch Fognini's My Story
“It was a good week for me. Unfortunately, I couldn't play my best tennis in the final. But Fabio deserved to win. He played a very smart game. He took all the chances to win, and I think he's a good winner of the tournament. But in many ways I'm looking forward to keep playing better and better in the next tournaments,” Del Potro said.
Fognini will receive 250 ATP Rankings points and $127,635 in prize money; Del Potro will receive 150 ATP Rankings points and $67,220.
“It's amazing... He's one of the best players... So I am really happy about my performance,” Fognini said.