Italy’s Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini saved a total of eight match points in an epic Umag final victory over third-seeded Liam Glasspool and Haari Heliovaara.
Bolelli and Fognini, the top-seeded duo in Umag, recovered from a set down to beat Glasspool and Heliovaara 5-7 7-6 (6) 10-7.
Glasspool and Heliovaara blew an early first set break, but broke Bolelli and Fognini once again in the 12th game – when the Italian duo was serving to stay in the first set.
After winning the first set, Glasspool and Heliovaara had a 4-2 lead in the second set as well.
Down by a set and a break, Bolelli and Fognini responded with back-to-back breaks to take a 5-4 lead in the second set.
But Bolelli and Fognini then failed to serve out for the second set as Glasspool and Heliovaara broke back to tie the set to five games apiece.
In the 12th game, Glasspool and Heliovaara missed out on two match points but then opened a 6-0 lead in the tie-break.
Just when it seemed the final was over, Bolelli and Fognini won the next eight points to force a decider.
After saving eight match points, Bolelli and Fognini opened an early 4-0 lead in the match tie-break.
There was no coming back for Glasspool and Heliovaara as Bolelli and Fognini converted their third match point to complete three-set win.
Bolelli, Fognini on winning Umag
After winning their second Umag title, Bolelli described it as “the craziest match ever.”
“This is maybe the craziest match ever,” Bolelli said after winning his second Umag title with Fognini. “We were down 0/6 in the second tie-break. We were just playing. The guys missed some [shots] but we played good. We tried to stay focussed in the Match Tie-break. Tennis is like this; doubles is crazy sometimes. But I am very happy for this victory and my second title here in Umag with Fabio.”
Fognini agreed with Bolelli that it was a “crazy match.”
“We are really happy for sure about this victory,” Fognini added. “Crazy, an incredible match. Six match points [in the tie-break]. Well, that’s the sport. Thank you Simone for letting me enjoy another time this great title here in Umag after 11 years.”