Fabio Fognini joined fellow Italian Matteo Berrettini on Friday by beginning 2021 with a win at the Antalya Open.
Third seed Fognini came through a 6-4, 7-6(4) first-round victory over Czech qualifier Michael Vrbensky in one hour and 39 minutes. Fognini, who broke serve in the third game of each set, saw Vrbensky respond in a competitive second set. The Czech won the first three points of the tie-break.
The 33-year-old will now challenge France’s Jeremy Chardy, who defeated Radu Albot of Moldova 6-3, 6-4 in 80 minutes. Fognini is bidding to capture his first ATP Tour title this week since April 2019 when he clinched the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters crown (d. Lajovic).
Fourth seed Alex de Minaur required just 61 minutes to overcome Malek Jaziri of Tunisia mid-afternoon. The 21-year-old Australian, who compiled a 13-11 record last season, broke serve five times. De Minaur now faces Bulgarian qualifier Adrian Andreev, who recorded his first ATP Tour match win over Turkish wild card Marsel Ilhan 6-4, 6-3 in 76 minutes.
Read & Watch: De Minaur’s End-Range Shot Tips
Elsewhere, France’s Tristan Lamasine recovered from 3-5 down in the first set and saved one set point at 4-5 in a 7-6(6), 6-2 victory over Egor Gerasimov of Belarus. Lamasine now prepares to meet eighth-seeded Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik in the second round.