Fabio Fognini upsets Dominic Thiem to delight Rome fans
Italian hero Fabio Fognini stunned last week’s Madrid finalist Dominic Thiem 6-4 1-6 6-3 on a widy day in two hours and five minutes just two days after clinching his milestone 300th career win of his career to reach the third round on the Centre Court at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in the Foro Italico in Rome.
Fognini celebrated his second win against a top 10 player in two consecutive editions of the Italian Open in front of his home fans one year after beating Andy Murray.
Fognini got the first break of the match in the third game of the opening set and held his serve at deuce to take a 3-1 lead. Fognini missed a double break point at 4-2. Thiem pulled the break back at 15 in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. As Thiem was serving at 4-4 15-40 Fognini hit a low backhand, which the Austrian player struck into the net, and broke serve. Fognini held his serve easily to close out the first set 6-4 with a crosscourt backhand.
Thiem got a double break in the second and fourth games with a backhand drop volley and a forehand error from Fognini to cruise through to a 5-0 lead dropping just seven points en route to winning the second set 6-1.
The third set went on serve with no break points in the first five games. Thiem held his serve in the 14-minute sixth game after saving five break points at 2-3. Fognini fended off two break points in the seventh game by winning six consecuive points from 15-40 to take a 4-3 lead before earning the only break of the decisive set on his second break point chance in the eight game, when Thiem hit a forehand wide. Fognini served out the match with a service winner on his second match point to score the 11th win over a top 10 player in his career in front of his delighted home fans. It was a remarkable win for Fognini, who beat Thiem, who upset Rafael Nadal just five days ago in Madrid en route to reaching the Madrid Masters 1000 final. Fognini will face German Peter Gojowczyk in the third round.