All postponed to Sunday, semi-finals at 11am and final no earlier than 4pm (rain permitting)

F. Fognini b. (PR) D. Thiem 6-4 7-6(5)

Nice victory for Fabio Fogniniwho plays one of the best games of his season at the central Foro Italico to beat a Dominic Thiem in strong recovery. The final result, 6-4 7-6, gives the Roman fans their first Italian victory this Monday. Fognini, who seemed motivated and ready from a physical point of view, could have finished more easily but the Austrian, who has returned to the circuit in recent weeks after a very long stoppage, has raised the level of his game at the end of the second set, forcing him into the tie-break with shots that reminded him of his best moments. Fognini, however, managed to stay focused as he continued to close out in straight sets. A possible derby with Jannik in the round of 16 is glimpsed Sinnerthat he will have to deal first with Pedro Martínez.

Fabio was the architect of an excellent performance: precise from below, clean and lucid in his choices. Never overwhelmed and few free, varying and creating play as much as possible, to avoid suffocating pressure and the generosity of the Austrian’s fund. A Sunday that appeared in constant search of himself and of the times that were, sometimes risking too much illusion in the shots and making many mistakes out of pure frustration, also dictated by not even having a gift on the other side of the net. The fact is that Fabio still had to sweat at every point and was never able to enjoy the real peace of mind.. Now for him in the round of 16 a possible derby with Jannik is in sight Sinnerthat he will have to deal first with Pedro Martínez.

THE MATCH – Immediate chills for Fabio who, up 40-0 in the second game, brings Thiem back and faces a break point but gets away with a good serve and straight. He closes and moves the record of him, he has to vary and confuse the fixed patterns of the Austrian. Dominic starts this match very well, solidly conceding little, even in terms of chances, to Fabio. Followed by another two break points nullified by Fognini in game four, who first concedes, then puts up four points in a row playing very well, most notably commanding Thiem’s ​​second chance and closing the net. For the first time the world number 56 rises to the advantages in response, with some help from the 2020 US Open champion, who immediately gets away with it (as always) with his excellent kick from the left, the key to his game. . . Right in the twilight of the first part, the first break arrives, and with the joy of the Centrale it is in favor of Fognini: the inactivity is felt for the Austrian, who starts to make a few more mistakes, and a forehand error on the second break point gives Fabio an unexpected advantage without having to overdo it. He then closes Fognini without being asked, in a carefree work shift. A fair 6-4, with more chances from Thiem in reality, but the blues expressed themselves better in the game, taking advantage of the precarious conditions of their rival, only in the fifth game of the season.

Problems also suffered in the second set by our team, in the second game, with a few more errors: however, he courageously annulled the break point by attacking on the setback and embroidering. On the other hand, comfortable serving rounds continue for Thiem, who occasionally displays powerful backhands and alternative solutions to surprise Fognini. In the fifth game, the world no. 162 is forced to take advantage, taking risks, due to the many backhand errors he makes, always trying to get out of exchanges diagonally, varying, as if he wanted to test the conditions, and giving good chances. to a Fabio who for his part seems to be waiting for the decisive tear as a gift. In the seventh game comes the long-awaited break in balance: a Thiem less and less lucid in his choices (he still wants to break the field and the ball with his backhand, which brings errors), makes Fognini break the ball, and gives it to him him with an error. Bravo Fabio for not letting emotions show through and not conceding anything like mistakes, causing frustration in the rival. Blue confirms the break with ease, serene and bright from below, almost as if drawing the field, also enjoying the Austrian’s difficulty in moving.

But precisely at its most beautiful, Thiem seems to revive the former glories: when Fognini serves for the match, the opponent levels up starting to make much less mistakes on the backhand, in fact, it affects much more. He also cancels a match point, and then takes the break and confirms it by winning 7 points in a row.. Domi is up, Fabio must be good at holding on mentally and not collapsing. In the tie-break, although with some more concerns than expected (we reached 5-5) Fognini manages to get the best out of a Thiem who does not give up until the end, creating good solutions and showing what he has. been in the past, in a couple of deadly exchanges. 7 points to 5 in favor of the Ligurian, who finds even more honor in telling that he faced the best version of the year for the AustrianSurpassing it for the second time out of two at the Foro Italico (applause from the public, very warm from the first to the last point).

HOT WORDS – Before the microphones of Sky Sport, Fognini on the field of the Foro Italico explained: “I’m happy. The last two years have been difficult for everyone, especially for me. After the ankle operation, I won a few games.” Sky correspondent Meloccaro jokes about the pinstripe-style suit Fognini wore on court. Fabio responds with a smile and then continues: “Now I have to recover well from today’s fatigue, I’m sure tomorrow I’ll wake up with some pain. The derby with Sinner? It would be nice to play with another Italian, especially since he is younger.”

ATP Rome scoreboard

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