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It was a busy Tuesday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia as power packed tennis action continued for yet another day on the red clay in Rome. A few amongst the top 8 seeds, who had received first round byes, were in action along with the other pool of players as both first and second round matches were played today.
Barcelona Open finalist Spaniard David Ferrer battled his way past compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-6(3) to charge into the third round. Ferrer looked in total control in the first set as Verdasco struggled with his serve. The second set was closely fought but Ferrer sealed the win by playing an excellent tie-break.
In another second round match, Briton Andy Murray had to struggle to gain a hard fought victory against former Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian. After dominating the first set, Murray found he had a real battle on his hands as the veteran Argentine rallied back to win the second before narrowly prevailing in the third to record a hard fought 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win.
In sharp contrast, 5th seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga eased his way past Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-2.
Veteran Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero, who won this event more than a decade ago (2001), caused one of the biggest upset of the day as he beat 13th seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-5, 6-3 to move into 3rd round. Monfils seemed to have no answer to the strong forehand ground strokes of Ferrero in a match which had plenty of long rallies.
In the odd first round matches, 15th seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez was the only seeded player to succumb as he lost to compatriot Marcel Granollers 4-6, 4-6. Granollers will now face Italian wild card Fabio Fognini in the 2nd round. Among other seeded players, 11th seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon and 14th seeded Argentine Juan Monaco had relatively easy outings as they sealed their 2nd round spots where they will take on Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Czech Radek Stepanek respectively.
Argentine 10th seed and former US open champion Juan Martin del Potro had to struggle past Doubles specialist Frenchman Michael Llodra to ensure a 2nd round meeting with Russian Mikhail Youzhny. Llodra approached the net frequently and used his quick reflexes to trouble Del potro but finally succumbed against some strong back-court play from the Argentine. Del Potro won 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.
In other matches, Sam Querrey, Richard Gasquet and Lukasz Kubot all came out victorious in their respective 1st round matches.
The excitement will continue tomorrow in the Rome Masters as 6 time Roland Garros Champion Rafa Nadal and newly crowned world no.2 Roger Federer will start their campaigns against Florian Mayer and Carlos Berlocq respectively.
(4) A. Murray def D. Nalbandian 6-1 4-6 7-5
(6) D. Ferrer def F. Verdasco 6-3 7-6(3)
(5) J. Tsonga def V. Troicki 6-3 6-2
J. Ferrero def (13) G. Monfils 7-5 6-3
L. Kubot def P. Starace 6-3 5-7 6-2
(10) J. Del Potro def M. Llodra 7-5 3-6 6-4
(11) G. Simon def D. Young 6-2 7-5
(16) R. Gasquet def J. Melzer 6-1 7-6(6)
M. Granollers def (15) F. Lopez 6-4 6-4
(14) J. Monaco def A. Ungur 6-2 6-2
G. Garcia-Lopez def P.Andujar 6-4 6-1
S. Querrey def J. Neiminen 7-6(4) 5-7 6-4
(9) J. Isner def P. Kohlschreiber 2-6 7-6(3) 6-2
File Photograph Copyright: Dan Galbraith
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