Fognini tops Verdasco to reach Swedish Open final vs Gasquet

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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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