While the semi-finals on Saturday added to the excitement for Sunday afternoon’s final in Rio de Janeiro, David Ferrer added to his undeniable dominance on the South American portion of the schedule with a straight sets victory over Fabio Fognini to lift the Rio Open title for the first time in his career.
Ferrer, who defeated the Italian No. 1 6-2, 6-3, lifted his seventh title on the Golden Swing – a record that places him as the title leader – and his 23rd career title on the ATP World Tour. He now moves to 8-0 in the head-to-head series against Fognini and needed only 83 minutes to do so.
“I’m really happy,” said Ferrer. “It’s my 23rd tournament win and I never won here before in Rio. I’m very happy for that. I had the chance to be in the Carnaval this week and all the facilities are good. This week is very special. I have a lot of confidence with my game. I won two tournaments this year. It’s very important for me being with the best players in the world.”
Ferrer was awarded $343,000 and 500 ATP Ranking points for his efforts, while Fognini took home $154,620 and 300 ATP Rankings points. It was a disappointing end to the tournament given Fognini’s incredible upset victory over Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals – a win that snapped the Spaniard’s remarkable 52-match win streak in clay court semi-finals.
“When you lose in a final, you’re always disappointed,” said Fognini. “It’s a big week for me. Yesterday I beat Rafa. It’s a big tournament and I’m happy because I put in a lot of work mentally and physically. To be 100 per cent against David it is difficult.”