Fognini tops Murray to keep Italy alive in Davis Cup

Naples, Italy ( - Fabio Fognini kept Italy alive in its Davis Cup quarterfinal against Great Britain with a stunning straight-set win over Andy Murray in the opening reverse singles match on Sunday.

Fognini had the weight of his country's hopes on his racket and came through with a surprisingly easy 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over the reigning Wimbledon champion.

The best-of-five tie will be decided when Britain's James Ward takes on Andreas Seppi for the host nation in the fifth rubber.

Murray had beaten Seppi on Saturday in a singles match that had been suspended from Friday, then teamed with Colin Fleming for a doubles win over Fognini and Simone Bolelli to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.

Fognini, though, beat Murray for the second time in three meetings and continued his strong play on clay this season. He won the title in Vina del Mar in February and followed that with a loss to David Ferrer in the final at Buenos Aires.

"Today, I just played better than Andy," said Fognini. "I tried to focus on my game and do my best. It was an important point for me. It was a very difficult match, but I played really good."

Fognini trailed 3-1 in the first set, but won the final five games to take the set. He broke serve for a 4-3 lead in the second set and broke again on a Murray double fault to capture the set.

The third set was on serve until the final game, when Fognini secured the lone break to finish the match.

Italy leads the all-time series, 11-4, including a win in their last meeting 30 years ago.

This weekend's winner will meet the Switzerland-Kazakhstan victor in a semifinal in September. Italy last reached the Davis Cup semis in 1998, while Britain's last trip to the final four was way back in 1981.