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Fognini, Cecchinato advance, Sonego tumbles

This content was published 3 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Fabio Fognini and Marco Cecchinato delighted the home crowds as they defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alex De Minaur respectively to advance to the second round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Fognini, the Monte Carlo champion, got off to a solid start in his duel against the Frenchman, securing an early break to lead 3-1 and holding three set points at 5-2. Tsonga, who was playing at the Italian Open for the first time since 2015, was slow to get going and could never recover the opening set deficit despite having break points of his own in the fifth game.

The second set was a similar affair with the No. 10 seed securing a break in the first game and extending his lead with a second break of serve for 4-1. Tsonga recouped one of those service breaks after Fognini lost concentration and struggled with the cold conditions at the Foro Italico, but he failed to get the match back on level terms and never really showed any chance of threatening the in-form Italian, eventually falling to a 6-3 6-4 defeat.

Despite dropping the first set Cecchinato was able to turn his match around against Alex De Minaur, prevailing 4-6 6-3 6-1 in two hours 11 minutes. It was an uneven display from the No. 16 seed who committed many errors alongside 35 winners, but it was good enough for his first victory over the Australian and a place in the second round to face Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Lorenzo Sonego put up a spirited display against No. 11 seed Karen Khachanov, extending the Russian to three sets before falling 6-3 6-7(1) 6-3. The world No. 67 had defeated Khachanov in straight sets on his way to the quarter-finals at the Monte Carlo Masters last month but he couldn’t recreate that kind of form on Grandstand despite the benefit of a vociferous home crowd.

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