Fognini finished second to Martin Klizan in the 2012 St. Petersburg Open. He had a run of three finals in three weeks -- winning two titles -- in July. On Tuesday he opened his section of play with a 6-4, 6-4 first-round decision over Dominic Inglot.
Fognini dropped just 15 points over 10 games serving and saved the only break point he faced against Inglot.
Fourth-seeded Dmitry Tursunov took two tiebreakers in getting past Marcos Baghdatis 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3) in a 2-hour-long match. Neither player dropped serve in the first set and both had two breaks in the second before Tursunov survived both tiebreakers.
No. 8-seeded Denis Istomin came out ahead of a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 score over Samuel Groth by finishing off both his break opportunities in the third set.