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Fognini ends Argentine resistance to send Italy through

Tennis - Argentina v Italy - Davis Cup World Group First Round - Parque Sarmiento stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina - 6/2/17. Italy's Fabio Fognini celebrates after he won his match against Argentina's Guido Pella. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci
Tennis - Argentina v Italy - Davis Cup World Group First Round - Parque Sarmiento stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina - 6/2/17. Italy's Fabio Fognini celebrates after he won his match against Argentina's Guido Pella. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Fabio Fognini made his experience tell to beat Guido Pella in five sets and send Italy into the Davis Cup quarter-finals at the expense of depleted holders Argentina on Monday.

Fognini battled back to win 2-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-2 in the last rubber which was postponed on Sunday due to rain delays and failing light.

Italy, who lost at home in last year's quarter-final to an Argentine team that went on to win the trophy for the first time, take on Belgium in the last eight in April.

The Italians looked set for a comfortable victory after Paolo Lorenzo beat Pella and Andreas Seppi overcame Carlos Berlocq in the opening singles.

But Argentina, without the heroes of their 2016 victory, Juan Martin del Potro and Federico Delbonis, fought back as Berlocq and Leo Mayer won the doubles in five sets against Fognini and Simone Bolelli.

Berlocq's marathon five-set win over Lorenzi on Sunday, which began at 1100 local time and finished after 1930 following two long rain delays, set up Monday's finale.

(Reporting by Luis Ampuero, writing by Rex Gowar, editing by Ed Osmond)

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