ATP Rome: Guillermo Garcia-Lopez upsets home hope Fabio Fognini in first round

World number 51 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez ended Italian hopes at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, sending Fabio Fognini packing in the first round 6-1, 7-6 in Rome. 

Garcia-Lopez dominates opening set

Garcia-Lopez began the match with an easy hold to love, followed by a much tougher hold from the Italian. In the next game, the Spaniard had to fight off three break points from Fognini, before breaking his Italian rival easily the next game. Garcia-Lopez cruised into a comfortable 4-1 lead with a routine hold of serve, with the world number 51 then breaking his mercurial opponent for 5-1. Garcia-Lopez made no mistake serving for the set, taking the game at love, to take the set 6-1, a disappointing effort from Fognini. 

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez hits a forehand at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome/Getty Images
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez hits a forehand at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome/Getty Images

Fognini fights back in second but Garcia-Lopez too much in end

After putting up a dismal effort in the previous set, the volatile Italian came out a different player in the second. Fognini began the set fending off a break point, with his Spanish rival following suit the next game. The world number 51 then created a few break chances on the Fognini serve, eventually breaking on his third for a 2-1 lead. Garica-Lopez then held for 3-1, before Fognini halted the Spaniard's run to keep the margin to one break at 3-2. 

Only a few games from defeat, Fognini lifted his game to break his Spanish opponent to level at 3-3. The Italian then held to 15 for a 4-3 lead, before Garcia-Lopez followed suit. Fognini then fended off a solitary break point, eventually holding for a 5-4 lead, putting himself a game from leveling the match. The Spaniard responded beautifully to the pressure of having to hold to stay in the set, taking the game to love, before Fognini did the same to bring the set to 6-5. Garcia-Lopez again held to stay in the set, forcing a tiebreak. 

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez hits a forehand at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome/Getty Images
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez hits a forehand at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome/Getty Images

Garcia-Lopez began the tiebreak gaining the early advantage with the mini break for 1-0. The world number 51 consolidated his lead with two service points won for a 3-0 lead. Fognini then held to control the damage for 3-1, but the Italian's bubble burst as Garcia-Lopez went up 4-1. The Spaniard then held both his serve points to set up match point, with Fognini saving one, but unable to deny Garcia-Lopez, with the Spaniard taking the match 6-1, 7-6. 

Garcia-Lopez behind the numbers 

Garcia-Lopez used his serve effectively throughout, cracking three aces to only one double fault. On the first serve, Garcia-Lopez made 61 percent, using his first deliveries effectively, winning an impressive 78 percent of first serve points. The Spaniard was solid on second serve as well, winning 58 percent of his second serve points, a crucial statistic especially compared to the poor 38 percent from Fognini. Garcia-Lopez backed up his serve well, saving 83 percent of break points to help seal the win over Fognini. 

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