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Italian Focus Falls On Fognini And Seppi; ATP ACES For Charity Remembers Luzzi

Rome, Italy

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Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer might be in town this week, but the focus of attention – for the majority of spectators at the Foro Italico – will fall on Fabio Fognini and Andreas Seppi.

Fognini has never before advanced past the second round at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. But, with Fognini two spots off his career-high of No. 13 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, expectations are high among Romans.

“I want to have a good tournament, something I have never done,” Fognini told ATPWorldTour.com. “Pressure? Yes, there is a little bit. But that is normal. With my coach, Jose Perlas, we are focusing on competing at a high level.

“I don’t want to put extra pressure on myself. I first have to focus on Lukas Rosol, my first opponent. I have the desire to do well here, but maybe that expectation has made me tense in the past.”

This year, Fognini has won one ATP World Tour title at Vina del Mar (d. L. Mayer) and finished as the runner-up at Buenos Aires (l. to Ferrer) and Munich (l. to Klizan).

Seppi, who will face Tommy Haas – the player he lost to in the recent Munich quarter-finals - admitted to ATPWorldTour.com that the “pressure of playing here is always on our shoulders, as it is the only major tournament we have in Italy."

Two years ago Seppi produced an inspired run to the quarter-finals (l. to Federer).

At 30 years of age, Seppi says he “hopes to keep playing for as long as possible. I hope to return to the Top 30 soon and then get closer to the Top 20. But it won’t be easy.”

ATP ACES For Charity Cheque For Luzzi Association

Luzzi, Fognini, ATP ACES For CharityMid-afternoon Sunday, Fognini presented an ATP ACES For Charity cheque for €15,000 to the Fede Lux Association, which was established in the memory of the Federico Luzzi, who died on 25 October 2008, aged 28.

Fognini said, “I am really happy to help Fedelux and Paola through ATP Aces For Charity. I knew Federico for a very long time and we miss him a lot. Paola [Luzzi's mother] is doing an unbelievable job for the association and she totally deserves our support.”

The Fede Lux Association supports research for the treatment and cure of leukemia. The association organises sporting events to raise money in the fight against leukemia and also finances domiciliary care for patients and their families.

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