Posted: Sun February 2, 2014 4:50PM; Updated: Sun February 2, 2014 4:50PM

Italy beats Argentina to reach Davis Cup quarterfinals

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Fabio Fognini
Fabio Fognini's win was the key for Italy to move past Argentina and into the quarterfinals.
Eduardo Di Baia/AP

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina (AP) - Italy reached the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup on Sunday when Fabio Fognini defeated Carlos Berlocq of Argentina to give Italy an unassailable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

Fognini defeated Berlocq 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in 3 hours, 38 minutes.

It was Italy's first victory over Argentina in Davis Cup play, and the loss ended Argentina's 12-year streak of reaching the quarterfinals.

''It was a perfect weekend,'' Fognini said. ''We knew that Argentina was a tough team, but I was very focused mentally.''

Italy took control on Saturday when doubles pair Fognini and Simone Bolelli defeated Argentina's Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zeballos.

Italy won its lone Davis Cup title in 1976. Argentina has never won and has lost four times in the final.

Argentina played the weekend matches without its top player Juan Martin del Potro, who is skipping the Davis Cup to concentrate on tour events.

Argentina's other top player David Nalbandian retired last year.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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