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Sam Querrey saves set points in both tie-breaks to beat No. 11 seed Lucas Pouille on Monday in Rome.

Querrey Battles To Beat Pouille In Rome

Powerful American fights back in both sets for victory

Sam Querrey earned a confidence boosting 7-6(6), 7-6(8) victory over No. 11 seed Lucas Pouille on Monday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Querrey, through to the second round for only the third time (also 2011-12), struck 14 aces and lost just nine of his first service points. The American saved two set points at 4/6 in the first set tie-break, then saw a 4-1 lead evaporate in the second set. Pouille, who qualified last year and reached the semi-finals (l. to Murray), could not convert set points at 6/5, 7/6 and 8/7 in the second set tie-break.

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Querrey, who defeated Rafael Nadal in February’s Abierto Mexicano Telcel final for his ninth ATP World Tour trophy, will now challenge qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff. The German broke a two-match losing streak in his third meeting against Bernard Tomic 6-7(8), 6-1, 6-4 in just over two hours. Struff could not convert three set point opportunities at 6/4 and 8/7 in the first-set tie-break.

Later in the day, ninth seed David Goffin fought back from a set and 1-3 deficit to work his way past lucky loser Thomaz Bellucci 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 31 minutes. He broke Bellucci in the ninth game of the decider en route to his 28th match win of the year, which includes two runner-up finishes in Sofia (l. to Dimitrov) and Rotterdam (l. to Tsonga).

Spanish qualifier Nicolas Almagro also moved into the second round, knocking out home favourite Andreas Seppi, who received a wild card into the main draw, 7-6(6), 6-3.

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