Fognini tops Verdasco to reach Swedish Open final vs Gasquet

July 21, 2018
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Fabio Fognini of Italy reacts after winning against Fernando Verdasco of Spain, during their semifinal match in the Swedish Open tennis tournament in Bastad, Sweden, Saturday July 21, 2018. (Adam Ihse / TT via AP)

BASTAD, Sweden (AP) — Fabio Fognini edged Fernando Verdasco for the first time on clay to reach the Swedish Open final against Richard Gasquet on Saturday.

Fognini won 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 even after losing two break leads in the deciding set of their 2-hour, 17-minute semifinal.

“Beating Fernando is really difficult. He is a great champion,” Fognini said. “At the end, it is a lottery.”

He lost his previous three matches with the Spaniard on clay.

This time, the Italian prevented Verdasco from reaching a third final in Bastad, after 2013 and 2016.

No. 3-seeded Fognini and No. 4 Gasquet will be going for their second ATP titles this year.

Fognini won the Brazil Open in March, and Gasquet won on grass at s-Hertogenbosch last month, the Frenchman’s 15th title from 30 finals.

Gasquest stopped lucky loser Henri Laaksonen 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals. The Swiss was trying to reach his first ATP final.

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