Marco Cecchinato has stood in the way of the first all-Argentinian final in the history of the ATP tournament in Umag by beating his namesake from Argentina, Marco Trungelliti. The Italian has thus confirmed his status as the biggest favorite to win this tournament. His match against Guido Pella and quest for his career-second title will begin today, at 8PM.

His match against Trungelliti was a one-way street, except for the first two games which went Trungelliti’s way. After that, of the next 13 games, the Argentinian won just one other – after losing the previous twelve in a row. Cecchinato went from 0:2 to 6:2 in the first set, and then to 5:0 in the second set.

Naturally, the Italian was quite pleased with his performance at the Goran Ivanišević Stadium.

- Yes, I am pleased I have reached the final in my fist tournament on clay after Roland Garros. But the foundations for this success were built during my preparations in the off-season, when I worked hard with my coaching staff on my tennis and my fitness. I invested a great deal in myself and that hard work is now slowly paying off - said Cecchinato, who is undoubtedly having his best ever season.

The young man from Sicily impressed the tennis world earlier this year at Roland Garros, where he advanced all the way to the semifinals – as the first Italian to do so at any Grand Slam since Corrado Barazzutti back in 1978. Before that, he won his first ever ATP title in Budapest, as the lucky loser, which means that just three months ago he had to play qualifiers to get into a tournament, and now he is already no. 27 in the world.

- Compared to Budapest, I am a completely different player. There, I was an outsider, and here in Umag, I am favored to win it. That first final was very emotional for me and I was extremely nervous. But now, after winning that title and everything that’s happened at Roland Garros, I don’t feel that much stress anymore.

Back in Paris, during his miraculous run to the semifinals, in the second round he beat none other than his last night’s opponent, Marco Trungelliti. Later on, he battled past Carreno Busta, Goffin and Đoković, before being stopped by Dominic Thiem. He has also played against his next opponent in one of the finals.

- Of course, I know Guido. Last year, we played a Challenger in Germany and he thrashed me 6:2, 6:2. So, I’ll have up my game tonight to defeat him.