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The big guns descended on the red dirt in Rome to really kick off the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in real earnest. While Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal bullied their way into the third round, there were a handful of upsets too as Madrid semi-finalist Janko Tipsarevic and American no.1 John Isner were the shown an early exit.
16-time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer started his campaign on a high note as he eased past Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-4. Berlocq had a nervous start as he was broken in his very first service game. Federer eased through the set without facing significant resistance. In the second set, Federer broke Berlocq's serve early again. The Argentine got a few chances to break back but could not utilize them as Federer was spot on with his serve which proved too much for him handle. Up next for the Swiss legend is former world no.1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, who stunned the 13th seed Gael Monfils yesterday.
World no.3 Rafael Nadal meanwhile also started his quest for a 6th Rome Masters crown with a power packed performance to show that his 3rd round defeat in the Madrid Masters is not going to hamper his preparation for the French Open. Nadal defeated German Florian Mayer 6-1, 7-5 and will now face compatriot Marcel Granollers in the third round. Granollers eased past Italian wild card Fabio Fognini.
Also making his way through the draw was 10th seed Juan Martin del Potro a straight sets winner against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, 6-4, 6-2. Del Potro though appears to have drawn the short end of the straw and in what is likely to be the match of the round will collide with no.4 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga tomorrow. Another Argentine, Juan Monaco on the other hand sealed a third round face-off against world no.1 Novak Djokovic by defeating Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-2. Djokovic defeated Australian Bernard Tomic yesterday to reach the 3rd round.
Among the other seeded players, Richard Gasquet of France, Nicolas Almagro of Spain and Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic scored impressive straight set victories against their respective opponents.
Big hitting American, John Isner was stunned by Italian Andreas Seppi who played some impressive defensive tennis. The crowd backed the local boy as Seppi came back from a set down to win the match 2-6, 7-6, 7-5. The first set was dominated by Isner, but Seppi came back well in the second set as he concentrated predominantly on hanging on to his service games. Seppi landed a telling blow in the 11th game of 3rd set as he broke Isner's serve to seal the match in his favour. Seppi will now face Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, who also caused a amjor upset by thrashing 8th seeded Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-1.
With quarter-final spots up for grabs, all of the third round matches will take place on an action packed Thursday. Top seed Novak Djokovic will open proceedings on Court Centrale against 14th seed Juan Monaco, with Granollers - Nadal and Federer - Ferrero rounding off the action. Seeds 4, 5 and 6 have been relegated to the SuperTennis Arena with David Ferrer taking on Gilles Simon, Andy Murray facing another Frenchman in Richard Gasquet while Tsonga - Del Potro wind up what should be a thrilling day (read more).
Second Round Scores:
M. Granollers def F. Fognini 6-3 6-4
(3) R. Federer def C. Berlocq 6-3 6-4
(2) R. Nadal def F. Mayer 6-1 7-5
(10) J. Del Potro def M. Youzhny 6-4 6-2
(16) R. Gasquet def P. Lorenzi 6-3 6-2
S. Wawrinka def (8) J. Tipsarevic 6-3 6-1
(7) T. Berdych def L. Kubot 6-4 6-1
A. Seppi def (9) J.Isner 2-6 7-6 7-5
(14) J. Monaco def R. Stepanek 6-4 6-2
(12) N. Almagro def S. Querry 7-5 6-2
(11) G. Simon def G. Garcia-Lopez 6-4 2-6 6-4
File Photograph Copyright: Dan Galbraith
- 18/05/2012 10:32 - Rome Masters: Tsonga surprises Del Potro, Federer gets past Ferrero
- 18/05/2012 00:09 - Rome Masters Thursday Wrap: Djokovic, Nadal through to last eight, Murray beaten
- 17/05/2012 23:59 - Italian Open Thursday Wrap: Williams sisters march on, Sharapova downs Ivanovic