Fognini Saves Match Points To Beat Bautista Agut In Historic Challenger Final

Fognini Saves Match Points To Beat Bautista Agut In Historic Challenger Final

by Evita Mueller

Last updated

ATP Challenger finals are played every week, but one that features two former Top 10 ranked players doesn't, which is why today's Valencia final was historic.

Roberto Bautista Agut was once ranked inside the Top 10. The same goes for Fabio Fognini and they faced each other today in the Valencia Challenger final. Neither player has had much success in recent months for various reasons.

Both are up there in age and are slowly getting pushed out of the top spots of tennis, but they're still good tennis players. On top of that, the Spaniard struggled with an injury that saw him miss a lot of action.

Both dominated their matches en route to this final, which is actually only the fifth ATP Challenger final ever between two former Top 10 ranked players. The previous finals that featured two former Top 10 ranked players include the 1981 final between Barazutti and Nastase and the 1981 San Benedetto final between Panatta and Barazutti.

Furthermore, we have the 1982 Sao Paolo final between Pecci and Higueras then the 2006 Montevideo final between Canas and Lapentti, and now finally this one.

As you can see, it rarely happens, but these two made it happen this week. Ultimately, Fabio Fognini was the player who ended up with the trophy after a crazy final that finished in the third-set tie-break.

It was a pretty well-contested final between two players who played 11 times before this one. Fognini actually dominated the matchup 8-3, especially on clay, which is the surface they played on today, and he got the win once more. The first set went to Bautista Agut despite an early break by Fognini.

The Italian is famously up and down during matches, which we saw today as well. Bautista Agut had a match point at 5-4 in the second set and in the tiebreak as well but ultimately lost the set.

In the final set, we saw quite a bit of battling. However, it was Fognini who ultimately got it done in another tiebreak. The match lasted over 3 hours, with the final score being 3-6 7-6(8) 7-6(3). It must be a very rewarding win for the Italian, who was just recently left out of the Italian Davis Cup team.


You may also like