Defending champs KO’d by Italy
BUENOS AIRES — Defending champion Argentina was knocked out of the Davis Cup in the first round by Italy on Monday.
Italy’s Fabio Fognini defeated Guido Pella in the deciding singles 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
The match on outdoor clay was postponed from Sunday because of rain and darkness.
Italy took a 2-0 lead after winning both singles on Friday.
Argentina came back by taking the doubles on Saturday, and the first reverse singles on Sunday, when Carlos Berlocq defeated Paolo Lorenzi 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Argentina played without top player Juan Martin del Potro, who made himself unavailable to focus on tournament play.
Italy will face Belgium in the quarter-finals in April.