Ending a title drought that stretched back to July 2015, Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic completed an epic run at the Chengdu Open by beating top-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7) in the final Sunday in Chengdu, China.
Tomic, who improved to 4-2 in finals, also denied Fognini’s bid to be the first Italian man to win four titles in one season.
Earlier in the tournament, Tomic, 25, had to rally to beat Egor Gerasimov in qualifying (he was down 0/3 in the deciding set tiebreak) and Bradley Klahn in the first round (Klahn was up 3-1 in the second after taking the first set). Tomic also saved match point against Lloyd Harris in the second round.
“I should have lost five times,” said Tomic, per the ATP website. “In the second round in qualifying to Gerasimov, I was down 0/40 at 4-4 in the third set and I somehow got through that match; against Klahn in the first round I was down 7-6, 3-1 and in the second round I was down a match point as well against Harris. It’s been a rollercoaster, but I played more aggressive in the quarterfinals and semifinals. I don’t know how many match points I saved today.”
Fognini falls to 2-2 in his career against Tomic, who won the only previous hardcourt clash between the two at the Paris Masters in 2015.
Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka, ranked No. 171 in the world, outlasted French doubles specialist Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 to win his first career title in Shenzhen, China.
Nishioka jumped out to the early lead, winning the first set and going up 2-0 in the second but then stumbled and dropped seven straight games.
“I don’t know what was going on,” said Nishioka. “Maybe I was tight for the win, I am not sure, but sure I was a little bit nervous because I almost got to the trophy. ... After I lost the second set I changed my mentality; to fight.”
Nishioka, 18 months removed from a torn ACL, was 5-10 in matches this season heading in to Shenzhen, where he reeled off seven victories in eight days.
It was the first ATP final for Nishioka and the second for Herbert, who was also seeking his first singles title. Herbert has won three Grand Slam titles in doubles.
—Field Level Media