Fognini captures Stuttgart title

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Fifth seed Italian Fabio Fognini came back after a set down in Stuttgart final match against second seed Philipp Kohlschreiber to grab his maiden ATP title. The domestic player thus lost his second German final in 2013 as he was denied the Munich trophy by his countryman Tommy Haas in the beginning of May. On the other hand, 26-year-old Fognini now has a 1-2 ATP title matches record – he was beaten in both Bucharest and Saint Petersburg finals in 2012.

The players dropped a couple of service games by 3-3 in the opener before settling into the match. In the end, the set was decided after the Italian failed to hold and force a tie-break in the twelfth game – Kohlschreiber put away the set point number one. Fognini responded by breaking the German in the opening game of the set two. The latter was never in position to break back, while his rival generated six set balls before leveling the terms. The decider was almost over as a contest when the Italian number two obtained a double break cushion, yet the second break was not confirmed and the home crowd favorite could still hope to turn the proceedings around. His opponent kept his nerves though and held his final two service games convincingly. Fognini converted his first championship ball to confirm a milestone 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory after slightly more than two hours of clay court tennis. The new Mercedes Cup king was issued €74,000 in prize money and will improve his ATP rankings by 250 points.

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