The second time’s the charm for Federico Delbonis…
Playing in only his second ATP final, the 23-year-old Argentine tennis player defeated Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Brazil Open final on Sunday to earn his first ATP title.
Delbonis broke Lorenzi’s serve to start the decisive set and held on to close the match in 2 hours, 6 minutes after converting on his second match point.
He jumped and punched the air after sending a winner down the line past Lorenzi’s outstretched arms.
Delbonis celebrated a nearly perfect week in which he also reached the semifinals in the doubles tournament.
“To tell you the truth, I have no words,” Delbonis said. “I played well match after match. It was a great result in the end.”
In his first ATP final, Delbonis lost to Italy’s Fabio Fognini last July after upsetting Roger Federer in the semifinals in Hamburg.
With the victory at the ATP 250 tournament in Sao Paulo, Delbonis will move to 45th in the ATP rankings, a career best.
Lorenzi won the first set on Sunday after breaking Delbonis’ serve at 3-3, but the hard-hitting Argentine started serving well and was never broken again, finishing with 12 aces and no double faults.
Delbonis beat home-crowd favorite Thomaz Bellucci in the semifinals. He had defeated second-seeded Nicolas Almagro in the second round, a three-time winner at the Brazil Open.
It was the first time since 2007 that the Brazil Open wasn’t won by a Spanish player. Argentine Guillermo Canas lifted the trophy that year, and after that the tournament was won by Spaniards Almagro, Tommy Robredo, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Rafael Nadal.
Nadal decided not to defend the clay-court title this week. He chose to play in the first Rio Open, which he won last week.