Tennis  

Fognini defeats Lajovic to win Monte Carlo Masters

Winner Italy’s Fabio Fognini kisses the trophy after winning the final tennis match against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic at the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series tournament in Monaco on April 21, 2019. YANN COATSALIOU / AFP

Fabio Fognini of Italy defeated Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6/3, 6/4 to win his first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo. In the semifinals, he dethroned the 11-time titlist and defending champion, Rafael Nadal. In the final match, Fognini committed only 23 unforced errors, while Lajovic tallied 36.In the first game of the second set, Fognini broke Lajovic’s serve but could not hold his own service game to consolidate. Lajovic held serve for the third game. The Serbian had a break point in the fourth but failed to return a second serve. He also lost a second break chance and Fognini held to level two-all.

There was some drama in the fifth game. Lajovic hit a backhand winner to level 30-all but missed a drop shot attempt and Fognini grimaced as he stopped in the sprint to the net. At break point, Lajovic missed the line with a backhand to an empty court.At the changeover, Fognini called for the medical trainer, who taped his right ankle and right thigh. He rose up and took the first two points on his serve. Lajovic took the third and the fourth with a backhand smash to level 30-all.

However, he missed an easy volley to give Fognini 40-30 and the game for a 4-2 lead. Lajovic reduced the tally to 4-3 but his opponent took the eighth game in which he dropped just one point.Serving to save the match, Lajovic recovered from losing the first point on a bad bounce and took the ninth game after being deuced. After the changeover, Fognini stepped up to serve for the match. He won the first point on a missed passing shot.

He took the second on a service return to the bleachers. He reached 40-0 on another missed backhand by his opponent. At 40-15, Lajovic returned a second serve up and Fognini watched it smilingly, as it landed over his baseline. He had won the title. In a dramatic posture, he dropped his racket, pulled his shirt up revealing his torso and covered his face for some moments before running to the net to shake and hug Dusan. Fognini became the first player from Italy to win at Monte Carlo, since 1968.

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Fabio Fognini
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