Fognini Opens Chengdu Campaign; Querrey Beats Basilashvili
Ebden, Fritz also advance
Top seed Fabio Fognini opened his campaign at the Chengdu Open on Thursday by beating Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans 6-4, 7-6(2) in one hour and 35 minutes. The Italian is a winner of three ATP World Tour titles this year — at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo (d. Jarry), the SkiStar Swedish Open in Bastad (d. Gasquet) and the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex (d. Del Potro) — and has a 38-18 match record.
Fognini next faces Matthew Ebden, who is one win away from reaching his third ATP World Tour semi-final of the season (Libema Open, BB&T Atlanta Open) after the sixth-seeded Australian knocked out Matteo Berrettini of Italy 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3) in just over two hours.
Elsewhere, American Taylor Fritz stepped up his bid for a place at the Next Gen ATP Finals in November by beating Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 7-5, 6-1 in 67 minutes. Currently in sixth position in the ATP Race To Milan, the 20-year-old is through to his fourth tour-level semi-final of the year (also the Delray Beach Open, Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship and the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon).
Fritz will now play his compatriot, Sam Querrey, who struck 17 aces and didn’t lose a first-service point (30/30) in his 6-1, 6-4 win over third-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in just 54 minutes.
Did You Know?
Fabio Fognini has won only one of his eight ATP World Tour titles on a hard court, at Los Cabos (d. Del Potro) in August 2018. He has also finished as runner-up in hard-court finals at the 2012 and 2017 St. Petersburg Open and at the 2016 VTB Kremlin Cup.