Seventh Heaven For Fognini
This last week has felt very much indeed like the week following a grand slam in the world of tennis. Although 3 ATP tournaments took place, they were all at the ATP 250 level, and came with a distinct lack of top 10 players. Kyle Edmund was due to play in Umag, Croatia, but had to withdraw due to a throat infection.
From the players that did play last week, the standout was Fabio Fognini, as he triumphed over Fernando Verdasco and then Richard Gasquet to win his 7th career title in Bastad, all of which have come on clay. The Italian is known for his fiery temper and his involvement in controversy on and off the court, but he managed to keep in together long enough to win the tournament. Fognini of course is extremely talented, but is often berated for his perceived lack of effort and motivation, and many believe he is not capable of claiming big victories. However, he won 6-3 3-6 6-1 in 1 hour and 47 minutes, overcoming a lapse in concentration in the second set to prove his doubters wrong.
“I’m tired, but happy at the same time. I played a lot of matches this week,” said champion Fognini. The other two tournaments in Newport and Umag were won by Steve Johnson and Marco Cecchinato respectively. Cecchinato is making his way up the rankings, and has rocketed himself up to 22 in the world, a remarkable achievement considering he finished 2017 109 in the world.
Despite an underwhelming week which could never follow up the excitement of Wimbledon, this next week has a little more to offer, with a bigger tournament in Hamburg taking place, with the likes of Dominic Thiem taking part.