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Tsonga Closes In On Milestone; Fognini Falls

Rome, Italy

Fognini© Getty ImagesFabio Fognini fell to a 3-7 mark at his home country Masters 1000 event.

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga moved within one victory of 300 match wins after defeating Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6(5) on Monday in the first round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

The 11th seed, who was upset by Santiago Giraldo last week in the Mutua Madrid Open second round, saved three break points in the second set and came from 1-4 down in the tie-break. He drew level with Dolgopolov at 3-3 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

The two-time Rome quarter-finalist will look to record the milestone win when he faces the winner between South African Kevin Anderson and Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

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World No. 21 Dolgopolov, a finalist earlier this season at the clay-court Rio Open (l. to Nadal), fell to a 20-13 season record.

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Top Italian Fabio Fognini's hopes for a successful showing on home soil came to an early end, as he bowed out against Czech Lukas Rosol 6-3, 6-2.

Fognini, making his seventh appearance, had never advanced beyond the second round of Rome's ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. On Monday, the No. 13 seed lost serve three times against the 56th-ranked Rosol, who won 82 per cent of his first service points and did not face a break point.

Fognini also dropped his Madrid opener last week, defeated by Dolgopolov in three sets. 

Rosol reached the final two weeks ago in Bucharest (l. to Dimitrov) and next faces Croatian Ivan Dodig, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Argentine Federico Delbonis.

Frenchman Gilles Simon set a second-round clash with top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal after defeating Italian wild card Filippo Volandri, 6-2, 6-3. Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 5-1, including a clay-court victory two years ago in the Monte-Carlo semi-finals.

Russian Mikhail Youzhny, the No. 14 seed, beat Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 30 minutes for his fifth match win of the season.  

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