Italian rising star Marco Cecchinato was in great spirits after capturing the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag title. The 25-year-old defeated Argentinean Guido Pella in the final 6-2 7-6 (4) to win his first title on the clay courts of Umag.
It was the second ATP title for Cecchinato -- who captured his maiden title at the Gazprom Hungarian Open in Budapest in April. The Italian confirmed his fine clay-court at the French Open -- where he reached the semi-final before he lost to eventual runner-up Dominic Thiem.
Cecchinato, who entered Umag enjoying his previous career-high ranking of No. 27 in the world, has now climbed up to his new career-best ranking of No. 22. "I think this is the best moment of my tennis career. Now I have won two titles and made it to the semis at Roland Garros.
I feel good. It was an amazing final. My backhand improved a lot and my drop shots also worked well today," Cecchinato said post-match. Elsewhere, Cecchinato's fellow compatriot Fabio Fognini defeated French Richard Gasquet in the SkoStar Swedish Open to claim his maiden Bastad title.
"Congrats to Fabio. It is an amazing Sunday for the Italians. It is a great moment. Now I want to continue playing like this, but I still have to work hard to break into the top 20. This is the motivation for me," Cecchinato added.