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  • Fognini, Seppi set for all-Italian showdown in Rome

    5/12/13 11:44 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Fognini, Seppi set for all-Italian showdown in Rome An all-Italian affair between Fabio Fognini and Andreas Seppi is on the Monday schedule in Rome. Jerzy Janowicz and Santiago Giraldo are also taking the court.

    Fabio Fognini vs. Andreas Seppi

    Fognini and Seppi will be squaring off for the second time in their careers at the ATP level and for the second time this season when the two Italians clash at home in the first round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Monday. Seppi leads the head-to-head series 4-2, including 3-2 on clay. They just faced each last month in Monte-Carlo, where Seppi prevailed 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

    Both men are coming off first-round losses in Madrid, where Seppi got blown out by Tommy Haas and Fognini fell to Mikhail Youzhny in a third-set tiebreaker. Fognini had a 5-4, 40-0 lead with the match on his racket before a complete collapse. These two countrymen are both 14-12 for the season and Seppi registers five spots ahead in the rankings at No. 20 in the world. Fognini is the more impressive shot-maker of the two, but Seppi is steadier and steady usually wins on clay. Seppi in three sets is the pick.

    (Q) Santiago Giraldo vs. Jerzy Janowicz

    Janowicz is struggling to build on his breakout tournament in Paris last fall, when he finished runner-up to David Ferrer. The 22-year-old Pole is just 10-9 this year, which includes a third-round showing at the Australian Open. Janowicz beat Sam Querrey last week in Madrid before succumbing to eventual semifinalist Tomas Berdych in three sets.

    Up first in Rome for Janowicz is Giraldo, whom he has never faced. The 78th-ranked Colombian is 8-10 for his 2013 campaign but he fared relatively well in Madrid. Giraldo qualified for the main draw then eased past Martin Klizan before going down to eventual runner-up Stanislas Wawrinka. Clay will give the underdog a chance against his big-hitting opponent, but Janowicz has shown a decent amount of guile on the slow stuff and he should survive in three sets.




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