Top seed Cristian Garin sealed his spot in the Chile Dove Men+Care Open final without dropping a set after defeating Daniel Elahi Galan 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday.
The Santiago native is now one victory away from claiming his first ATP Tour title on home soil, and lifting his fifth trophy overall. He is hoping to become the first Chilean to win at home since Fernando Gonzalez at Vina del Mar in 2009.
“It’s amazing to have a tournament here in Chile. I really miss the crowd but this is always a special tournament for me,” Garin said in his on-court interview. “I’m so, so happy to be in the final. The first day that I arrived, I wasn’t playing well and it was my second tournament in months. So for me to be in the final is so special, and even more here in Chile.”
He will face Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis in the championship match. Bagnis, No. 118 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, served well to win 82 per cent of first-serve points (31/38) against countryman Federico Delbonis. He created more opportunities, breaking serve five times to record a 7-5, 6-3 victory in an hour and 39 minutes.
The win marked a long-awaited milestone for the 31-year-old, who is now into his maiden Tour final in Santiago.
“I’m really happy and enjoying every day this week. It’s my first final, and I’m trying to take things with a balanced approach: enjoy it, but also stay mentally focussed because tomorrow is the most important match,” Bagnis said. “On Monday, I will celebrate and then look at where I land in the Rankings, but for now I have to stay focussed.”
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It was Bagnis’ second match in three weeks against Delbonis, after claiming a hard-fought 6-4, 7-5 victory at the Cordoba Open on his way to his first ATP Tour semi-final. He had to go through his good friend again in Santiago, extending his lead their ATP Head2Head to 4-0.
Did You Know?
For the third week in a row, there will be a first-time finalist contesting a championship match in the South American ‘Golden Swing’. Juan Manuel Cerundolo, 19, made a winning ATP Tour debut at the Cordoba Open, while older brother Francisco Cerundolo broke through with a run to the final at last week’s Argentina Open.