Fognini powers Italy to Davis Cup World Group quarters

Fabio Fognini of Italy. (Luis M. Alvarez/AP)

MORIOKA, Japan — Fabio Fognini powered Italy through to the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup World Group, beating Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-5 in the first reverse singles on Sunday.

Italy went into Sunday’s play leading 2-1 after a doubles win on Saturday and Fognini’s five-set victory in his opening singles match on Friday.

Fognini trailed 4-1 in the final set as Sugita sought to take the tie to a fifth match but the Italian rallied to secure the win.

At 40-15 in the final game, Sugita saved the first match point before hitting long on the second.

Italy advanced to its fifth quarterfinals in the past six years while Japan will have to win in the playoffs in September in order to return to the World Group next season.

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