Davis Cup: Fognini draws Italy level with France

Italy's Andreas Seppi returns the ball against France's Lucas Pouille during their Davis Cup World Group quarterfinal match in Genoa, Italy, Friday, April 6, 2018. (Luca Zennaro/AP)

GENOA, Italy — Inspired by playing in his home region, Fabio Fognini came back from a set down to defeat Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 and draw Italy level with France in the Davis Cup quarterfinals Friday.

The 20th-ranked Fognini had his left leg taped up early in the second set but didn’t appear too bothered over the course of a match that lasted 3 hours, 31 minutes on a slow outdoor red clay court.

Fognini grew up in the Liguria region.

"It’s great to come here and play in front of a lot of friends and have this kind of support," Fognini said. "I have a lot of memories from here."

The 80th-ranked Chardy had won all five of his previous Davis Cup matches and beat Fognini recently in Indian Wells.

Earlier, Lucas Pouille wasted a two-set advantage before eventually beating Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1.

The 11th-ranked Pouille stepped up his game in the fifth, resulting in a series of errors from Seppi.

"I decided to be more aggressive and take more chances in the fifth set and I had the energy to finish off the match," Pouille said.

Seppi hadn’t played since losing to Roger Federer in the semifinals in Rotterdam in mid-February.

"I still need to rediscover my form but I can take away some good things from this match," Seppi said.

In Saturday’s doubles, Simone Bolelli and Paolo Lorenzi will face Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.

Reverse singles are scheduled for Sunday.

Italy is looking to reach the World Group semifinals for only the second time since finishing runner-up in 1998.

France is aiming for a spot in the last four for the third straight year.

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