Tennis: Qualifier Yannick Hanfmann plays Fabio Fognini in Swiss final

By The Sports Xchange  |  July 29, 2017 at 9:40 PM
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German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann continued his Cinderella run at the Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad, advancing to the final on Saturday at Gstaad, Switzerland.

Hanfmann won his third three-set match in as many days, knocking off No. 6 seed Robin Haase of the Netherlands 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) to reach his first career final.

Ranked No. 170 in the world and appearing in only his third main draw of an ATP event, Hanfmann will take on fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini for the championship.

The Italian also needed three sets before dispatching second-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

Hanfmann, who toppled defending champion Feliciano Lopez on his run to the final, staved off four match points -- two in each of the final two sets -- before prevailing in just under 2 1/2 hours.

"This means a lot to me," Hanfmann said. "Reaching my first final after saving four match points today is amazing. I really like the conditions here and the altitude suits my game. The ball bounces higher here. Tomorrow I will be the outsider again and I will give everything. I never expected to reach the final at the beginning of the week."

Hanfmann trailed 6-4 in the second-set tiebreaker before leveling the match with the final four points. He also faced two match points while serving and trailing 6-5 in the decisive set.

Fognini also dropped the first set but lost only five games the rest of the way to advance to his first final since October. He converted all four break points against Bautista Agut while saving 12 of 13 break chances against him.

"I'm happy because my first match here was a horrible feeling, but I'm feeling better day by day; my game has improved," Fognini said. "Tomorrow is going to be a tough match, because he's beaten a lot of good players. I saw him play this whole week and told my team that he's going to be dangerous. But I'm going to go for it and try to win the title."

Fognini, who has been pushed to a deciding set in his last three matches, not won a tournament since his victory at Umag a year ago.

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