NAPLES, Italy (AP) — Fabio Fognini overcame an injury and tough resistance from James Ward to give Italy a 1-0 lead over Britain on the rain-delayed opening day of their Davis Cup quarterfinal Friday.
Andy Murray's match against Andreas Seppi was then suspended due to poor light with the British No. 1 leading 6-4, 5-5 after just under two hours of play. The match will resume Saturday morning ahead of the doubles.
Fognini was made to struggle against a player ranked 148 places below him before winning 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 in more than three hours to preserve his remarkable Davis Cup record on clay.
The start was delayed by more than two hours because of rain in Naples.
Ward powered into a 3-0 lead as Fognini double-faulted twice in his first service, game but the 13th-ranked Italian fought back by winning four games in succession before taking the opening set.
It looked to be a similar story in the second set as Ward again rushed into a 3-0 lead before allowing Fognini back in. But this time it was the Briton who took four games in a row and leveled the match with a drop shot.
Fognini had been hampered by a left thigh injury in the buildup to the series and also had heavy taping by his ribs. He had to receive medical treatment before the start of the third set.