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Pouille prevails against Seppi, Baldi falls

This content was published 5 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

Lucas Pouille had to dig deep to find a way past Andreas Seppi in the first round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. The Frenchman cruised through the first set but was then evidently frustrated as his level dropped and he was forced to battled his way to a 62 36 76(3) victory.

It was a second meeting for the two players following a five-set encounter in the opening rubber of their Davis Cup quarterfinal clash last month. Pouille won that day and looked like he was in for an easier ride today as he raced to take the first set 6-2 in 28 minutes. Playing almost flawless tennis – the No. 16 seed committed just four unforced errors in the opening set – Pouille was serving confidently and looked firmly in control in the heavy conditions on Court Centrale.

The tide began to change in the second set however as the Italian raised his game at the same time that Pouille began to lose his way. Seppi, who is making his 14th appearance at the Foro Italico, capitalised on the dip in his opponent’s form, breaking for 5-3 and then serving out the second set to level the match.

The see-saw encounter continued in the third set with the players exchanging breaks before reaching the tiebreak. Despite missing an easy forehand which would have brought up four match points, Pouille remained composed to clinch victory and set up a meeting with Kyle Edmund.

Also packing his bags on day two in Rome was Seppi’s compatriot Filippo Baldi. The world No. 370, who had produced two impressive performances to qualify for a Masters 1000 event for the first time, was defeated by fellow qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili 64 46 64 in the first match on Next Gen Arena. The Georgian’s reward for his victory is a second round meeting with No. 11 seed and four-time champion Novak Djokovic.

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