Fabio Fognini became the first Italian to win an ATP Masters 1000 title on Sunday, defeating Serbia's Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4 in the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The 13th seed converted four of five break points to become the lowest seeded player to lift the trophy since fellow No. 13 seed Gustavo Kuerten’s title run in 1999. Fognini will rise to a career-high No. 12 when the latest ATP Rankings are published on Monday.
Fognini’s journey to the trophy was packed with drama. The 31-year-old recovered from 4-6, 1-4 down in his first-round match against Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev and also overturned a 1-6, 0-2 deficit against Borna Coric in the quarter-finals. Alongside comeback victories against Rublev and Coric, Fognini also defeated two Top 5 opponents in straight sets this week. The Italian upset World No 3, Alexander Zverev, to reach the quarter-finals and stunned 11-time champion Rafael Nadal in the last four. Fognini is the first player to defeat Nadal en route to a clay-court title since Pablo Cuevas’s triumph at the Rio Open presented by Claro in 2016.
In the doubles, Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor saved one championship point on Sunday to win, beating Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 11-9 in a dramatic final. The seventh seeds, making their first appearance as a team since the 2017 Swiss Indoors, won 76 percent of first-serve points (37/49) to claim their first title together. Mektic and Skugor earned three straight points from 8/9 down in the Match Tie-break to lift the trophy after two hours and three minutes.
“It feels amazing. I knew we could do really well because we did already in the past, not having too many matches together, but we still had great results like the semi-final at Wimbledon,” said Skugor. “But it is our first week since we decided to play together again and winning a Masters 1000 is just an amazing feeling.” To see the highlights of the men's singles final, click on the video link below.