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#Dramz on the Dirt: Fognini and Delbonis Destroy Daylight in Rio

Presumably, Friday at the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro started out like any other day, but it didn’t take long for things to get weird.

In sweltering temperatures, the day on Centre Court began with promise for 18-year-old wildcard Beatriz Haddad Maia in her quarterfinal match against Sara Errani. The teenager led the top seed by a set and a break, serving for the match twice and holding three match points; however, she was unable to convert on these chances and was eventually forced to retire in a scary cramping episode, ending the match in Errani’s favor 3-6, 7-6(2), 3-0 after two hours, 18 minutes.

Next, men’s No. 2 seed David Ferrer needed just over two hours to see off Juan Monaco in a three sets, setting the home crowd up for more disappointment. After two hours and 21 minutes, wildcard Joao Souza came out on the losing end against Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-7(4), 6-1, 4-6.

With the hours ticking away, the Twitterverse began to speculate how the tournament would handle the scheduling of the two remaining ATP matches on tap for the day: Fabio Fognini vs. Federico Delbonis and Rafael Nadal vs. Pablo Cuevas.

The match began innocuously enough: both men held serve three times before Fognini broke in the seventh game en route to a 6-4 first set win.

The events that transpired next still cannot be explained.

The Argentine built a 5-1 lead in the second set, and with Fognini sputtering, seemed primed to easily put the match into a decider.

Until, you know, he didn’t. 

After saving three match points in the second set tiebreak, Delbonis won the set 7-6(10) to send the match into its third hour.

As the 3rd set dragged on, #émotions were felt across the land.

The ATP might’ve felt “it,” but Delbonis felt the love. #newrioopenslogans

♫♫ “IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN” ♫♫

Tough, tight and utterly ridiculous.

Heart and…..eggs? I don’t think that word means what I was told it means.

And when it was all over, there was still time for some guy named Rafa. Barely.

 No one said it would be easy, just that it would be worth it. 

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About Victoria Chiesa (114 Articles)
One time, Eva Asderaki told me I was lovely. It was awesome. @vrcsports

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