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Fabio Fognini drops tennis racket and still wins point in Rio Open

Fognini, seeded fifth, was serving for the second set against Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil when the racket slipped from his hand after serving.

Published: 20th February 2018 04:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th February 2018 04:16 PM   |  A+A-

Fabio Fognini of Italy returns the ball to Roberto Bautista of Spain during the St. Petersburg Open ATP tennis tournament semi-final match in St.Petersburg. | AP File

By Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO: Fabio Fognini of Italy dropped his racket and still won the set point in the first round of the Rio Open on Monday.

Fognini, seeded fifth, was serving for the second set against Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil when the racket slipped from his hand after serving. But it bounced back up off the clay, he snatched it, rallied with Bellucci and hit an overhead winner at the net to tie the score on sets.

Fognini, who had been down a set and 4-0, ultimately prevailed 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-2.

World No. 3 and top seed Marin Cilic of Croatia enjoyed less drama in his Rio Open debut beating Argentine qualifier Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-2.

This was Cilic's first match since reaching the Australian Open final. He faces Gael Monfils or Horacio Zeballos next.

Fourth-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain overcame Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 after trailing 4-2 in the last set.

Eighth-seeded Fernando Verdasco also progressed.

Second seed and defending champion Dominic Thiem of Austria opens on Tuesday against Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.



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