Fognini and Mayer reach final

Top seed Fabio Fognini advanced to his fourth straight ATP World Tour final on clay in Vina del Mar on Saturday.

Fognini edged a topsy-turvy two-hour battle with Nicolas Almagro 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7/5) at the Royal Guard Open to earn a final date with Leonardo Mayer.

The Italian started brightly and won the first set on the back of an early double-break, but lost his serve in the opening game of the second set and was a virtual bystander as Almagro reeled off seven straight games to force a decider.

Fognini looked to be in control when serving for the match at 5-3 but Almagro broke back, saving a match-point in the process, only to be denied in the eventual tie-break.

Unseeded Argentinian Mayer had earlier advanced to his first final courtesy of a 7-6 (7/2) 6-3 victory over Colombia's Santiago Giraldo.

The world number 91 sent down six aces and capitalised on all three of his break-point opportunities to progress in 90 minutes.

Sunday's showpiece will represent a fourth consecutive final on clay for Fognini, who prevailed in Stuttgart and Hamburg last July before finishing runner-up in Umag.