Italy’s Fabio Fognini was in imperious form as he defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4 to win the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday.
The 13th seed based just 20 kilometres over the border in San Remo, became the first Italian to lift the trophy in 51 years, following on from Nicola Pietrangeli, who watched his record fall from the royal box at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
Pietrangeli – winner in the principality in 1961, 1967 and 1968 – came to the court after the trophy ceremony to pose for pictures with his new tennis heir, who was following up his shock semifinal win over 11-time Monte Carlo champion Rafael Nadal.
“I was born nearby so this is extraordinary,” Fognini, 31, said.
“I started the season rather badly, so this is unbelievable. I’m very content with this victory, especially with all of the Italians here today.”
The 48th-ranked Serb Lajovic was playing in the first ATP final of his career and got to the title match without the loss of a set.
Fognini looked to be temporarily hampered as he limped momentarily after breaking Lajovic for 3-2 in the second after claiming the opening set in 44 minutes.
During a medical timeout, he was taped on his right thigh and a heel, but carried on without apparent problems as he finished the final on his second match point as Lajovic returned long.