ATP Monte Carlo: Fabio Fognini sinks Dusan Lajovic for Masters 1000 glory

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ATP Monte Carlo: Fabio Fognini sinks Dusan Lajovic for Masters 1000 glory

Six days ago, Fabio Fognini was on the verge of defeat in the opening round of Monte Carlo Masters against Andrey Rublev, struggling to find the form in 2019 and scoring just four ATP wins before this week. Not only that he overcame that deficit and beat the Russian but the Italian went all the way to become Masters 1000 champion, defeating Alexander Zverev, Borna Coric, Rafael Nadal and Dusan Lajovic for the most significant result in a career.

On Saturday, Fabio played an incredible match to dethrone the 11-time Monte Carlo champion Rafael Nadal and advance into the final where he ousted another first-time Masters 1000 finalist Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 38 minutes to become the first Italian Masters 1000 champion.

Fognini is the 68th different winner at this level since 1990 and the lowest-ranked seed to conquerer Monte Carlo since Gustavo Kuerten in 1999. Facing against each other for the first time, Fabio saved two out of four break points to mount the pressure on Dusan who was far from the previous matches level, dropping almost half of the points behind the initial shot and getting broken four times to propel Fognini over the finish line.

The Italian had 19 winners and 23 errors while Lajovic counted to 16 direct points and 36 mistakes in the clash we will not remember for too long. Fabio had the advantage in the shortest and mid-range rallies, leading from start to finish to bring the win home and start a massive celebration with his team.

Lajovic broke in the third game for a promising start before losing the ground, allowing Fognini to win five of the next six games and wrap up the opener with back-to-back breaks in games four and six. The second set saw breaks of serve traded in games one and two, with Fognini who moved in front at 2-2 when Dusan sent a forehand long.

The Italian injured his leg a little bit in that game but managed to deliver three good holds and seal the deal with a service winner at 40-15. With these points, Fabio moves closer to the place in the top-10, something he couldn't have dreamed about after a terrible start of the season.