RUSSIA - ITALY 1-3 Fabio Fognini b. Teymuraz Gabashvili 7-6 (4) 6-3 7-6 (5) Italy smiles. The "azzurri" took a deciding 3-1 lead over the hosts of Russia, securing to stay again next year in the Davis Cup World Group.
Great performance by Fabio Fognini, perhaps enhanced by the American victory of his girlfriend Flavia Pennetta. Italian tennis player showed calm and strength, and he delighted the eyes of Italian fans with a rare example of fun to watch and effectiveness tennis.
Excellent accelerations, passing in the running, changes of pace, which, after having beat on Friday Rublev, today defeated Gabashvili. The Italian tennis player, in the first set , forced twice the service of the Russian.
Despite some slight decrease of form, Fabio dominated the tie-break, and closed at his third set point chance. At the start of the second set, the forehand betrayed Fabio, as he gave away the opening service game of the second set.
However, Fognini dominated both physically and mentally Gabashvili, especially with sudden accelerations, to regroup and regain the lead. In the third set Fognini needed another tie-break, to overcome his opponent. In the Tie-break the Russian missed an easy backhandand, giving four match points to Fognini, who closed the match.
Fognini and all the Italian team cheered, because Italy, in 2016, will still be among the top 16 teams of the world group!