Fognini Back On Form

World No. 28 Fabio Fognini needed just 58 minutes on Monday to reach the second round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, dismissing Jerzy Janowicz 6-3, 6-1.

The Italian converted six of his 11 break points and won 62 per cent of his service points as he ended a string of five straight losses. Despite strong performances on the doubles court with Simone Bolelli, Fognini has struggled for form in his singles game. Since reaching the final in Rio de Janeiro (l. to Ferrer), he had suffered three opening-round losses in Buenos Aires, Indian Wells and Miami.

The 27-year-old Fognini was a semi-finalist at the Monte-Carlo Country Club two years ago, recording two Top 10 wins before falling to Novak Djokovic. He goes on to face either Grigor Dimitrov or Fernando Verdasco.

Joao Sousa disappointed French hope Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 in the first round. The Portuguese player earned a clash with fourth seed Milos Raonic as he broke serve seven times to advance in one hour and 37 minutes.

In an all-American first-round clash, 15th-seed John Isner defeated Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-4. Isner, who last month beat Dimitrov, Raonic and Nishikori to reach the Miami semi-finals (l. to Djokovic), fired 13 aces and won 82 per cent of his service points to advance in 71 minutes.

“I’ve had some good results on clay before,” said Isner. “It does some things for my game that I think maybe people don’t realise, that are very good for my game. I like playing on clay. This place is beautiful. So I’m happy.”

No. 12 seed Roberto Bautista Agut wasted no time in reaching the second round with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Benjamin Becker in 52 minutes. The Spaniard lost only nine points on serve as he claimed his ninth win of the season.

There were mixed fortunes for the other Spaniards in action. Qualifier Albert Ramos-Vinolas beat lucky loser Robin Haase 6-1, 6-1, but Pablo Carreno Busta was beaten by Sergiy Stakhovsky, 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4.

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