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Stepanek still going strong as he battles qualifying

This content was published 6 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Radek Stepanek may now be 37 but he is still capable of winning long-distance matches. The world No.34 came through arguably the game of the day at Foro Italico beating American Taylor Fritz 4-6 7-6 6-1.

It was a match that lasted two hours and 16 minutes but the Czech, who has been in the tour for 20 years, had enough about him to claim victory.

The 2011 semi-finalist will now take on Italian Filippo Volandri in a bid to earn another main draw appearance in Rome.

Other standout results on the first day of qualifying included Stephane Robert winning the all French tie with Paul-Henri Mathieu courtesy of a thrilling 7-5 final set.

Another Frenchman in the shape of Lucas Pouille is through after a straight sets win over Andrea Arnaboldi. Britain’s Alijaz Bedene came from a set down to beat Omar Giacalone.

The men’s first round begins at the Foro Italico on Sunday along with the remaining qualifying matches.

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