Seeded players Roger Federer, Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych slid into third round at Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2013 in Rome.
Second seed Federer, who played a Rome final back in 2003, had an easiest of openers at this year’s edition of the clay-court tournament as he dismissed 293rd ranked domestic player Paolo Starace in merely fifty minutes spent on court. The former top seed Swiss defended both of the break balls he was facing during the match, while he seized his challenger’s serve two times in each of the sets before serving the clash out with a hold to love. He moved on to the third round with a 6-1, 6-2 win and now has a 7-0 head-to-head score against the 31-year-old Italian. His next opponent will be the better of Youzhny-Simon pair.
Similarly, ninth-seeded Gasquet still has a spotless H-2-H record against young Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov whom he has beat for the fourth time in four matches in the second round of Rome. The Frenchman tucked away the only break ball of the opener in the first game and protected his lead all the way until serving out the set. He was first broken in the beginning of the second one, but he bounced straight back and confirmed his second consecutive break by 4-2. He capped his second set comeback with a hold to love to secure his spot in the last 16 with a comfortable 6-4, 6-4 success. He will meet either Tsonga or Janowicz in third round.
The match between seed number six Berdych and Uzbek Denis Istomin was only a contest in the opening set where the Czech was unable to break his rival until the latter was serving to keep the set alive at 5-4 – few moments of Istomin’s weakness were enough for him to fall one set behind. He was unable to recover from the shock and was merely a spectator in the second set where he could not collect more than eleven points and was ultimately bageled out of the tournament. Berdych progressed to the third round with a 6-4, 6-0 triumph and will play Kevin Anderson of South Africa next.