GENOVA, September 8, 2019 (by Brian Allen)
One day after playing his best match of the tournament, defending champion Lorenzo Sonego found a way to win at the AON Open Challenger only playing well when it counted.
The top-seeded Italian defeated 10th-seeded Guido Andreozzi of Argentina 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in the first semifinal on Saturday and will play No. 11 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain in Sunday’s final.
In a match where each player struggled to maintain confidence and momentum, Sonego won the first four games of the first set and served for the win at 5-4 in the second. But Andreozzi saved two match points and won the last three games and the second set.
— TennisTourTalk (@TennisTourTalk) September 7, 2019
“It wasn’t easy for me after he saved two match points, but I stayed focused,” Sonego told Tennis TourTalk.
Sonego broke Andreozzi in the first game of the third set and never trailed, serving the match out at love.
“It is a big win for me. I’m so happy because it is the second final for me in Genova,” he said. “I love Genova. I have a lot of support here.”
Davidovich Fokina reaches first Genova final
Davidovich Fokina beat No. 2 seed and former Genova champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the second semifinal.
Davidovich Fokina dropped his first service game on Saturday, and Ramos-Vinolas allowed his 20-year-old opponent to make repeated errors throughout the first set.
Exercising greater patience, Davidovich Fokina slowly wore through his countryman’s defense with impressive shotmaking, including a leaping, two-handed backhand volley to win the second set.
The errors mounted for Ramos-Vinolas as he pressed in the third set. Davidovich Fokina gained the crucial break of serve with a sharply angled passing shot and sealed the victory with an ace on his second match point.
Claiming the decisive break in style. 😱
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) September 7, 2019
Davidovich Fokina now owns a 2-0 career record against Ramos-Vinolas, both wins coming in 2019.
Sunday’s championship match will be Davidovich Fokina’s third at the Challenger level. The Spaniard lost earlier this year on a hard court in Thailand and last year on clay in Poland.
If he wins, Davidovich Fokina will break into the top 100 of the ATP singles rankings for the first time.
This will be the first meeting between Sonego and Davidovich Fokina.
(1/WC) Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) def. (10) Guido Andreozzi (ARG) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
(11) Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) def. (2) Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
Facundo Bagnis (ARG)/Stefano Travaglia (ITA) lead (3) Guido Andreozzi (ARG)/Andres Molteni (ARG) 3-2 susp.