A delighted home crowd cheered the unseeded Italian Davide Sanguinetti to the first tour title of his career, a 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 win over Roger Federer in the final of the ATP Indoor tournament in Milan yesterday. The victory made the 29-year-old the first home winner of the tournament since Omar Camporese in 1992.
Beaten in the second round of a Challenger event in Germany last week, and ousted in the first round of the Australian Open, Sanguinetti had little cause for optimism when the tournament started. But, after wins against Juan Carlos Ferrero, Younes El Aynaoui and Nicolas Escude, he sustained his form in the final, to the obvious delight of the Milan crowd.
Federer's semi-final win over Greg Rusedski on Saturday was decided in two tie-breaks, but the Swiss lost out in the first-set tiebreak yesterday.
Federer struck back in a closely-contested second set but a remarkable backhand pass from far behind the baseline, when he had looked beaten, gave Sanguinetti break-point in the fourth game of the deciding set, a position from which he went on to win in style.
In Tokyo, Martina Hingis continued her domination of Monica Seles to claim the Pan Pacific Open title in Japan for the fourth time yesterday.
The Swiss top seed picked up her second title of the year after seeing off Seles 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 in a rematch of last week's Australian Open semi-final.
Playing in the tournament final for the sixth successive year, Hingis rallied twice to take the first-set tiebreak and, after losing the second set, gained the upper hand in the decider with a break of serve in the second game.Reuse content