Marrakech | Fognini, Berrettini and Sonego keep Italian interest going.

Matteo Berrettini and Lorenzo Sonego have both reached the quarter finals of the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, Morroco, an ATP 250 level event, as has a third Italian, the flamboyant Fabio Fognni who eliminated the top seeded Laslo Djere of Serbia. It marks the first time since the 2022 Umag tournament that 3 or more Italians appear in the last eight of a tour level event.

Berrettini defeated Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-4 4-6 6-3 while Sonego, seeded four for the event, took out India’s Sumil Nagal 1-6 6-3 6-4 and the pair are set to battle it out for a place in the last four.

Which means one Italian is guaranteed to appear in the semis and there is an outside chance of an all-Italian final to underline the nation’s strong position in the game having seen two of its nationals collecting four titles, more tan any other nation this season, three of them thanks to Jannik Sinner.

Berrettini, a former world No.6 who is on the comeback trail following a series of injuries, is chasing his 19th tour-level semi-final and his 7th on clay and first since reaching the 2022 Naples final.

Success would earn him his50th tour-level clay court win to become the fourth active Italian male player to reach that milestone after Fognini, Cecchinato and Bolelli.

The veteran Fognini himself would move to 237 with a win over Pavel Kotov in the quarters of the Marrakech event. To reach the last eight Fognini’s experience saw him triumph over Djere 7-6(1) 2-6 6-4 while Kotov Kotov had a more comfortable win over another Italian, the eighth seeded Flavio Cobolli, 6-1 7-6(5).

For the 36-year-old Fognini, a former world No.9, the semi-finals would be his 43rd on the tour and 4th since the start of 2020 on his favourite surface which has rewarded him with eight of his nine titles.

Lorenzo Sonego will provide his compatriot with a great test

(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

Meanwhile the defending champion, Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena, eventually eased past Brtian’s Dan Evans, the third seed, 6-4 7-6(3) to earn his 100th tour-level win and set up a meeting with the fifth seed, Argentina’s Facundo Diaz Acosta who beat Belgium’s David Goffin 6-3 6-4 to progress.

“I’m really happy,” Carballes Baena said. “It’s a good number I think. I will go for 200 and I will try to enjoy the tennis and keep coming.”

Finally in the bottom half, the second seed, Austria’s Sebastian Ofner also saw his campaign fail on the starting line as Australia’s Alexander Vukic outlasted him over two-hours and 48-minutes, 7-6(11) 2-6 7-6(7).

Vukic now faces Argentina’s Mariano Navone, seeded 7, who required three sets to get the better of the three-time grand slam champion, Stan Wawrinka having rallied from a set and a break down to triumph against the Swiss after two hours and 20 minutes.

“It was so tough for me,” Navone said. “When I was a child, I watched the matches of him. I am very happy to play against him and I won so I am very happy with the win.”



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