Fabio Fognini stunned Rafael Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters yesterday with a 6-4 6-2 win in the semi-finals.
From trailing 3-1 in the first set, world No 18 Fognini won 11 of the next 14 games to claim a career-best victory and his fourth victory in 15 career meetings with Nadal.
The Italian said: “If you told me at the beginning of the week I will see you on Sunday, I would have laughed in your face.
“Sometimes I won a few matches (against Nadal) – one crazy one at the US Open and two times on clay.
“So I knew I had nothing to lose, because of course, especially when you with him on clay, it’s always really tough.”
Earlier, Lajovic reached his first Masters final when he bested the windy conditions to beat Russian Daniil Medvedev 7-5 6-1.
Lajovic trailed 3-0 and 5-1 in the opening set before going through the gears.
The 10th-seeded Medvedev could not hold the pace as winds swept across centre court and Lajovic quickly moved 4-0 up in the second set against a frustrated opponent, who bowed out on the second match point.
“It was an incredible match,” said Lajovic.
“I had the worst nightmare, falling down 5-1. But I won 10 games in a row, so I was able to find my rhythm and my game.
“In windy conditions it was impossible to play real tennis and in the end I was able to hit my forehands better than him. I’m still unaware of my achievement in Monte Carlo.”
Monte Carlo Masters prize money
There is a total prize fund of €5.2million (£4.5m) for the 2019 Monte Carlo Masters.
The winner of today’s final between Fognini and Lajovic will pocket a cool €958,055 (£829,000).
Winner – €958,055
Finalist – €484,950
Semi-finals – €248,745
Quarter-finals – €128,200
Round of 16 – €64,225
Round of 32 – €33,635
Round of 56 – €18,955