ATP Kitzbuhel: Fabio Fognini makes terrible return. Qualifiers write history

by   |  VIEW 4199

ATP Kitzbuhel: Fabio Fognini makes terrible return. Qualifiers write history

Competing for the first time since March and two ankle surgeries, world no. 12 Fabio Fognini is still miles away from his best tennis! The top seed suffered a heavy loss in Kitzbuhel's first encounter, winning only three games against a qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler who scored a 6-1, 6-2 win in 56 minutes.

World no. 303 will compete in his first ATP quarter-final, dominating on both serve and return to seal the deal in under an hour. The Swiss lost ten points in eight service games, fending off all three break chances and securing four breaks against the opponent who sprayed too many errors, needing more matches to reach his old level.

A left-hander fended off a break chance in the first game with an ace down the T line, breaking Fognini in game two with a perfect drop shot that the Italian couldn't even chase. After three commanding holds on both sides, Marc-Andrea grabbed another break in game six following a double fault from Fabio, moving 5-1 in front and bringing the opener home with a service winner in the next game after 22 minutes!

They both saved two break points in the second set's opening games, with Huesler breaking at 15 in game three to move in front. The Swiss cemented the break with a hold at love, seizing the third break chance at 3-1 thanks to a loose forehand from Fabio to move further in front.

Serving for the victory at 5-2, Marc-Andrea sealed the deal with a forehand winner to find himself in the first ATP quarter-final. The Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez prevailed against Guido Pella 7-5, 6-7, 7-6 in three hours, winning 13 points more than the Argentine and still working hard until the very last moment.

Firing 21 aces, Feliciano fended off four out of five break chances, securing two breaks to move over the top and find himself in the last eight. After ten commanding holds on both sides, Lopez saved a break point in game 11, stealing Pella's serve in the next one for a 7-5.

Fabio Fognini won just three games against the rival ranked outside top-300.

The second set lasted for 70 minutes and Guido claimed it in the tie break, staying on the level terms with Lopez until the deciding tie break that the Spaniard clinched 7-3 to emerge at the top.

Miomir Kecmanovic defeated Jordan Thompson 6-4, 6-4 in 64 minutes, dropping 11 points on serve to mount the pressure on the other side and delivering two breaks in each set to march over the finish line and reach the third quarter-final of the season.

Former world no. 45 Maximilian Marterer is ranked outside the top-300 after injuries, making a great comeback in Kitzbuhel and advancing into the last eight for the first time since this same event two years ago. Maximilian ousted Hubert Hurkacz 6-1, 6-4, delivering five breaks to remain on the title course.

The 2nd seed Diego Schwartzman had to dig deep against Sebastian Ofner, prevailing 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 to avoid an early exit and remaining the only seed in the quarters. From 5-4 down in the decider, Diego grabbed three straight games to cross the finish line first.

Laslo Djere competed on a high level against the young Italian Jannik Sinner 6-4, 6-4, getting broken once and earning three return games to seal the deal in 80 minutes. Laslo is one of five qualifiers left in the quarter-final, marking the highest number at any ATP tournament in the Open era!