Fognini turns tables to earn Stuttgart title

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Fabio Fognini battled from a set down to beat home favourite Philipp Kohlschreiber in the final of the Mercedes Cup for his first ATP Tour title.

The Italian fifth seed dropped a tight opening set but recovered his poise to record a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory in Stuttgart.

Second seed Kohlschreiber, who was contesting his sixth final on German soil, had beaten Fognini in both of their previous encounters and he was on course to maintain that record when he edged a topsy-turvy first set with the telling break in game 12.

However, Fognini dominated the second set, although could only convert one of seven break-point chances, before two breaks of serve in the decider saw him home.

“I played great, great tennis this week. I am really happy to have won the final,” said Fognini.

“I was focused on my game and I think I felt fresh physically,” added Fognini. “He played an incredible game when I was 4-1 up [in the third set], with a double-break. So the tension increased, but then I got some luck. I just thought about my serve and playing solid. This gives me a lot of confidence. I will never forget my first title. It would be great to play on hard courts like this.”

Meanwhile, Carlos Berlocq claimed his maiden ATP 
Tour title with a straight-sets victory over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in the final of the Swedish Open.

The 30-year-old Argentine broke the eighth seed and Wimbledon quarter-finalist, who took eventual champion Andy Murray to five sets, five times in total on his way to a 7-5, 6-1 victory in one hour and 38 minutes in Bastad.

Unseeded Berlocq, ranked 74 in the world, becomes the ninth player aged over 30 to win a title on this year’s tour.