Fognini took out Aliaz Bedene 6-4, 6-3 during the completion of the opening round of the Masters series event.
That puts Fognini up against Novak Djokovic in the second round. Djoknovic is unbeaten in 13 matches this year and already has two championships to his credit. Fognini has lost all three of his meetings with Djokovic, but did win a set off him at last year's Olympics.
Third-seeded Andy Murray will face Evgeny Donskoy in the second round after Donskoy blitzed Tatsuma Ito 6-2, 6-1.
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