Davis Cup: Pouille gives France 1-0 lead over Italy
GENOA, Italy (AP) Inspired by playing in his home region, Fabio Fognini came back from a set down to defeat Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 and draw Italy level with France in the Davis Cup quarterfinals Friday.
The 20th-ranked Fognini had his left leg taped up early in the second set but didn’t appear too bothered over the course of a match that lasted 3 hours, 31 minutes on a slow outdoor red clay court.
Fognini grew up in the Liguria region.
”It’s great to come here and play in front of a lot of friends and have this kind of support,” Fognini said. ”I have a lot of memories from here.”
The 80th-ranked Chardy had won all five of his previous Davis Cup matches and beat Fognini recently in Indian Wells.
Earlier, Lucas Pouille wasted a two-set advantage before eventually beating Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1.
The 11th-ranked Pouille stepped up his game in the fifth, resulting in a series of errors from Seppi.
”I decided to be more aggressive and take more chances in the fifth set and I had the energy to finish off the match,” Pouille said.
Seppi hadn’t played since losing to Roger Federer in the semifinals in Rotterdam in mid-February.
”I still need to rediscover my form but I can take away some good things from this match,” Seppi said.
In Saturday’s doubles, Simone Bolelli and Paolo Lorenzi will face Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.
Reverse singles are scheduled for Sunday.
Italy is looking to reach the World Group semifinals for only the second time since finishing runner-up in 1998.
France is aiming for a spot in the last four for the third straight year.