Sanguinetti won his first career ATP title Sunday, stunning defending champion and second seed Roger Federer of Switzerland, 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 6-1.
The 29-year-old Sanguinetti, who also upset top seed Juan Carlos Ferrero in the second round, became the first Italian to win here since Omar Camporese in 1992.
"I knew if I played well I could win today. I've always thought I could belong in the top 30," Sanguinetti said. "Now, I have to prove I can play at this level more consistently. I still have a long way to go and I still have a lot of work to do."
Sanguinetti, who collected the $48,850 winner's check, received the trophy from Camporese.
"I'm the happiest person right now," Sanguinetti said. "To win my first title in Italy is just incredible. I've never had a week like this before."
Participating in the fourth ATP final of his career, Sanguinetti had a shaky start, dropping four of the opening five games. But he fought back and dominated the first-set tiebreaker.
"At that moment, I started to read his game better, particularly his serve," Sanguinetti said.
Sanguinetti had struggled in his first two tour events of 2002, failing to qualify for the main draw at Sydney and losing in the first round of the Australian Open.
Federer, meanwhile, lost just his second match in 14 to start the year. The Swiss star won the Sydney tournament before losing a tough five-setter to Tommy Haas in the fourth round at Melbourne.
"I was ready for a tough match," Federer said. "I started well but then let him back into the match. I'm not surprised he played so well. It would be a dream for me, too, to win my hometown tournament. He really deserved to win today.
"I'm a little bit tired after Australia but it's normal because I've played a lot of matches this year."
Federer lost for the third time in his last four ATP finals.