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Humbert sends Fognini packing

This content was published 2 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

No.7 seed Fabio Fognini lost his opening match at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, falling in straight sets to Ugo Humbert 7-5 7-6(4) on Court Centrale.

Fognini, who is making his 13th appearance at the Italian Open, has struggled to find his form this year, losing his opening round match at four of the five tournaments he has contested. He underwent surgery on both ankles in May, returning to the Tour at Kitzbuhel last week but continued to look below par as he exited the tournament at the hands of the Frenchman.

Humbert won his first ATP title in Auckland and reached the semi-finals at Delray Beach but had only won one match since the resumption of the Tour. He was the more convincing player today however, helped by the fact he already had a match under his belt after defeating Kevin Anderson in the first round, as he saw off the Italian in two hours one minute to reach the third round at a Masters-1000 event for the first time.

Six consecutive breaks of serve got the match underway but it was Humbert who settled first, steadying the ship for a 4-3 lead. Fognini then did the same, both players now able to hold comfortably until the 12th game of the set when Fognini sent a backhand wide to gift his opponent the opening set after 55 minutes.

In the second set the pair exchanged breaks in the fourth and fifth games and then again in the eighth and ninth games before needing to be separated by a tiebreak. Fognini was starting to play better but couldn’t capitalise on a 2-0 lead, several unforced errors handing his opponent victory.

Norway’s Casper Ruud ended Lorenzo Sonego hopes of progressing further at the Italian Open, defeating the Italian world No.47 6-3 6-4 in a topsy turvy affair on Grandstand Arena. Former US Open champion Marin Cilic awaits Ruud in the third round.

Last year’s Monte Carlo finalist Dusan Lajovic showed his prowess on the clay when he took out No.13 seed Milos Raonic 7-6(3) 4-6 6-2 in a hard-fought affair which lasted two hours and 34 minutes. He faces the ultimate challenge in his third round match when he takes on nine-time Italian Open winner Rafael Nadal.

No.9 seed Andrey Rublev was another seed to fall on day four at the Foro Italico. The Russian was unable to find a way past Hubert Hurkacz, going down 7-6(6) 3-6 6-2. Next up for Hurkacz, who is making his debut in Rome, is No.8 seed Diego Schwartzman.

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