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Fognini flies flag for Italians

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Fabio Fognini is the lone Italian remaining in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia draw as compatriots Marco Cecchinato, Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini all exited the tournament on Thursday.

Fognini, the No. 10 seed and Monte Carlo champion, saw off Moldova’s Radu Albot 7-6(6) 6-3 in front of a packed crowd on Court Pietrangeli to advance to the third round where he will face Madrid finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Greek player had inflicted a 6-3 6-2 second round loss on 17-year-old world No. 263 Sinner earlier in the day while there was also a straight sets second round defeat for Cecchinato, the No. 16 seed, who fell to Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-3 in 69 minutes on Court 2.

Berrettini’s 6-3 6-4 defeat to Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman came in the third round, the Italian wildcard having ousted last year’s finalist Alexander Zverev in his second round match on Tuesday.

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