ATP Dubai Tennis Championships: Fognini and RBA fall as other seeds progress through to Round of 16

FABIO Fognini has become the first seed to fall at the ATP Dubai Tennis Championships, after suffering a loss to Great Britain’s Dan Evans in the Round of 32. The hot-and-cold Italian firebrand was seeded fourth at the tournament, but again failed to make it past the first round, losing 3-6 6-4 7-5 to the 37th ranked Brit, in two hours and 40 minutes. Evans served up 10 aces and won 71 per cent of his first serve points, while breaking six times to five in what was ultimately a close match, but weighted towards the lower ranked player on this occasion. Fognini has already withdrawn from one tournament and suffered two first round exits at the other two since reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open.

At least Fognini was not alone in dropping out as a seed on the second day of main draw action, with fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut also exiting the tournament. The Spaniard had a shock loss to the always worry-some Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 7-5. Meanwhile it was much better news for the other seeds, with second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas knocking over Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5 6-1, as Frenchman Benoit Paire also overcame inconsistency of the past month to knock off the very dangerous Marin Cilic, 2-6 7-5 7-6.

In the array of unseeded results, Austrian qualifier, Dennis Novak won through to the second round with a straight sets win over Indian wildcard, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, while another qualifier in Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama downed Chinese Taipei’s Lu Yen-Hsun who used a protected ranking to play following him falling all the way outside the top 900 after injury. It was not as pleasant news for Delray Beach finalist, Yoshihito Nishioka who was bundled out in the first round by Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

In other results, Serbian Filip Krajinovic defeated Portugal’s Joao Sousa 4-6 6-3 6-3, who has now had seven consecutive losses dating back to October last year where his last win ironically came over Krajinovic in Shanghai. Meanwhile, Alexander Bublik continued his great recent form with a win over highly talented Hubert Hurkacz, 6-2 7-5, while Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis in three sets, 5-7 7-6 6-3.


[2] S. Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated P. Carreno Busta (ESP) 7-5 6-1
D. Evans (GBR) defeated [4] F. Fognini (ITA) 3-6 6-4 7-5
J. Struff (GER) defeated [5] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 7-6 7-5
[8] B. Paire (FRA) defeated M. Cilic (CRO) 2-6 7-5 7-6
[Q] D. Novak (AUT) defeated [WC] P. Gunneswaran (IND) 6-4 6-3
F. Krajinovic (SRB) defeated J. Sousa (POR) 4-6 6-3 6-3
N. Basilashvili (GEO) defeated R. Berankis (LTU) 5-7 7-6 6-3
[Q] Y. Uchiyama (JPN) defeated Y. Lu (TAI) 3-6 6-1 6-2
A. Bublik (KAZ) defeated H. Hurkacz (POL) 6-2 7-5
P. Herbert (FRA) defeated Y. Nishioka (JPN) 7-5 6-2

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