Fognini reaches quarterfinals, Kavcic overpowers Rublev

Day 3 in Umag (photo: Konzum Croatia Open)

UMAG, July 22, 2015

The first round concluded and the second round began on a sunny and hot Wednesday at the ATP 250 Konzum Croatia Open.

Fifth seed Fabio Fognini defeated Damir Dzumhur, winning 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 16 minutes. The 28-year-old Italian had an impressive start with a lot of pace and power in his shots right from the beginning, winning the first 13 points of the match. Dzumhur reduced his unforced errors in the second set, finding his way back into the encounter. The world number 100 from Sarajevo was 4-2 up in the second set but a very solid Fognini rallied back, gained the decisive break in the 11th game to serve out in the following.

Fabio Fognini reached fourth quarterfinals of the season (photo: Konzum Croatia Open)

Fabio Fognini reached fourth quarterfinals of the season (photo: Konzum Croatia Open)

“It is always great to win matches back to back,” said Fognini. “I had a difficult first half of the year, so I am trying to find good sensations on the court. 

“I really enjoy playing here. It is close from home, I have friends with me. It doesn’t happen often during the year.”

Fognini will play Joao Sousa in the quarterfinals, who upset third seed Andreas Seppi in their first tour meeting. The 26-year-old Portuguese, who lives in Barcelona, lost his service only twice and capitalized on six of his nine own break point chances to advance in only 67 minutes.

In one of the two first round matches scheduled, Blaz Kavcic beat Andrey Rublev in their first tour meeting, winning 7-6, 2-6, 6-3. Rublev have come to Umag with a lot of confidence, beating Pablo Andújar in the fifth and decisive rubber of the Davis Cup, representing Russia against Spain last Sunday in Vladivostok. The 17-year-old wild card had a good start into the match but couldn’t convert a set point in the tenth game of the opening frame. Kavcic was more solid in the following, taking the tie-break 7-0. In an absorbing, physical battle under Umag’s sun with temperatures up to 40 degrees, Rublev came back taking the second set but ran out of the steam in the decider. The world number 132 and Slovenia’s second best ranked player sealed victory after two hours and 23 minutes, converting his first match point. Kavcic will play second seed Roberto Bautista-Agut next.

Blaz Kavcic wrote on twitter after the match (twitter: @blaz_kavcic)

Blaz Kavcic wrote on twitter after the match (twitter: @blaz_kavcic)

“I had a lot of support from fans but it put pressure on me as well,” said Kavcic. “After the first set, I didn’t feel too good, so I decided to let the second set go hoping to feel better in the third. It was a successful strategy.”

In an all-Serbian-affair Dusan Lajovic defeated qualifier Laslo Djere a second time this season. The 25-year-old from Belgrade won the previous meeting at the ATP Challenger in Prostejov and was also in control of Wednesday’s encounter. Lajovic won 73% of his first service points to close the match, winning 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 27 minutes. The world number 119 will face fourth seed Dominic Thiem in the second round.