Davis Cup: Fognini draws Italy level with France at 1-1

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GENOA, Italy (AP) – 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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