DIRIYAH, December 13, 2019
Fabio Fognini won the very first professional tennis match in Saudi Arabia. The 32-year-old Italian defeated US-American John Isner 7-6(4), 6-4 in Thursday’s quarterfinals of the inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup presented by Saudi Aramco.
“I won the first game of the competition, it’s nice. It’s something I will remember for sure and the people will remember as it is the first year we play here. I know they want to do something more [grassroots tennis], especially to improve tennis in this country so I’m happy,” Fognini said, quoted by the tournament’s website. “John was serving good but in the second set I tried to hit the ball very hard. I am relaxed for the upcoming year and feeling very good. I have no expectations, I mean I was Top-Ten but hopefully a younger guy is joying up and try to admin in the Davis Cup. That will be a dream. And of course I will try to do something more in a Grand Slam for sure. I still enjoying a lot to play tennis. It is very nice to win the first match of this competition and it is something I remember for sure and the people here will remember because it ist he first year we play here. Tennis will be improved in this country and I try to enjoy as much as I can.“
Fognini will next take on Frenchman Gael Monfils, who beat Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland 6-3, 6-3. „It was great tennis from my side and I had a really good time on the court,” Monfils said afterwards.
Medvedev, Goffin advance
Later in the evening, top seed Daniil Medvedev showed an impressive performance against Jan-Lennard Struff. The World No. 5 from Russia eased past the German, winning 6-3, 6-1. Medvedev will play David Goffin from Belgium in the stage of the final four, who defeated Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-2, 6-4.
— Diriyah Tennis Cup (@DiriyahCup) December 12, 2019
„It was a great match and it is never easy to play during the pre-season and to know how you are playing,” Medvedev said. “Today it was really good to beat Jan because he is one of the best players. It was a bit windy so it was a bit different for both players, I really like the surface here! Everything here is very great, it is a very good organisation – we have everything to practice good and play good. My goal is to win every match I have, because I hate to lose.”