It took two tiebreakers, but Federico Delbonis has managed to take down a champion to reach his first ATP World final…
The 22-year-old Argentine tennis player, currently ranked No. 114 in the world, outplayed former World No. 1 Roger Federer 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4) Saturday in the semifinals of the German Tennis Championships.
“He played well, he was a little more aggressive,” said Federer, a four-time champion at the tournament in Hamburg.
Delbonis, playing in only the second semifinal of his career, maintained his composure and gave Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, only two break points, one of which he saved.
Federer broke for a 2-1 lead but was broken right back and had to save two set points to force the tiebreaker. He squandered a 4-2 lead, was unable to convert his one set point and saved three with service winners before Delbonis converted his fourth with a smash after some well-played points.
Federer came under pressure immediately in the second set and had to fend off three break points in his opening service game and another in the sixth. Delbonis saved one break point in the next game with an impressive volley winner.
In the tiebreaker, Federer made two straight groundstroke errors and he netted a forehand on Delbonis’ first match point.
Delbonis, who will improve to a career-high ranking of around No. 59, according to the ATP, will play Italy’s Fabio Fognini in the final. Fognini defeated third-seeded Spain’s Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 7-6 (1).
Fognini won his first career title in Stuttgart last week and is riding a nine-match winning streak.