• Simon takes on Fognini in Bucharest final

    4/28/12 7:40 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Simon takes on Fognini in Bucharest final Gilles Simon will go for his third Bucharest title on Sunday. Standing in his way is first-time ATP finalist Fabio Fognini.

    Gilles Simon and Fabio Fognini will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers when they do battle in the final of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy on Sunday.

    All three of their previous encounters have come on clay and Simon has won every single time. He prevailed 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-3 at the 2009 Rome Masters then took each of their next two meetings in straight sets (later that season in Estoril and Madrid).

    It has been an up-and-down season for Simon, but he is firmly on the rise right now. After an awful February, the 12th-ranked Frenchman reached the quarterfinals in Indian Wells and the fourth round in Miami. He is now 20-10 for his 2012 campaign following wins this week over Dudi Sela, Lukasz Kubot, and Matthias Bachinger.

    Fognini's surprise run to the title match has come virtually out of nowhere. The 57th-ranked Italian had been a mere 2-5 at the ATP level this season. So far in Bucharest he has taken out Joao Souza, Marcos Baghdatis, Andreas Seppi, and Attila Balazs, losing just one set to Seppi.

    Two of Simon's nine career ATP titles have come in Bucharest (2007 and 2008), so he has to be feeling both comfortable and confident. Fognini, on the other hand, is competing in his first ATP final. Based on current form and experience, Simon in straight sets is the pick.

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Good luck Gilles Simon - hope you win the match.

schatz , 4/29/12 12:49 PM

Current ATP-rankings

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