Defending champion Fabio Fognini feeling pressure in Monte Carlo

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Defending champion Fabio Fognini feeling pressure in Monte Carlo

World No. 18 Fabio Fognini admitted he arrived to the Monte Carlo Masters with a bit of pressure since he returned to the event as a defending champion.. Back in 2019, Fognini stunned 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo semifinal, before beating Serb Dusan Lajovic in the final to lift his maiden Masters title.

The Italian kicked off his 2021 season last week in Marbella, where he lost in straight sets to eventual runner-up Jaume Munar. "It was difficult coming here with a bit of pressure,” Fognini said on Tuesday, as quoted on the ATP website.

"Last week was a really bad week for me, so I tried to change something in my game, especially mentally, because when I am feeling good, [my] tennis is going the perfect way." Fognini makes a winning start in Monte Carlo Fognini, seeded at No.

15, overcame rising Serbian star Miomir Kecmanovic in straight sets 6-2 7-5 to reach the second round in Monte Carlo. Fognini lost his serve twice in the opening set but claimed four breaks to win the opener. Fognini was down by a break in the second set but he broke Kecmanovic in the eighth and 12th game to seal a straight-set win.

“The first round is always difficult," said Fognini. "He was pushing the ball really hard from the baseline… I am happy about my victory today”. Meanwhile, local wildcard Lucas Catarina fell short in three sets to Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso.

Monaco's Catarina was up by a set and a break before the match resumed on Tuesday. After the two resumed their match on Tuesday, Caruso performed much better and escaped with a 6-7 (3) 7-6 (5) 6-3 win. "It's difficult right now, but I can remember things I did during that match to keep improving,” said Catarina. “Maybe I can play other tournaments at a high level. I hope I will be able to win more matches”.