Stan Wawrinka progressed in three sets, whilst Julian Benneteau defeated Almagro to enter the second round of Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
Last week’s Madrid finalist Wawrinka escaped a first round defeat against Argentine Carlos Berlocq as he came back after a set down. In the first set Berlocq restored his one break lead and grabbed the set just before it would go to a tie-break. In the set number two the players were tied until 3-3 after which the Argentine conceded two losses of serve, so the third set would follow. The fifteenth seed Swiss was always one step ahead of his rival in the decider which he finished with a one break advantage. He entered the second round with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 victory and is to play Alexandr Dolgopolov next.
Sixteenth-seeded Nishikori was largely untroubled by his first round challenger Paolo Lorenzi of Italy, ranked 64th. The Japanese broke first in the opener and added another break later in the set after winning a longest game of the match – he went one nil up next. One break did the trick for Nishikori in the second set as he confirmed it to go 4-2 ahead and ultimately closed out the encounter with a hold to love. End score: 6-2, 6-4 for the Japanese who is meeting Jeremy Chardy in the last 32.
Seed number twelve Nicolas Almagro was eliminated by Frenchman Benneteau who now leads the head-to-head score 3-1. The Spaniard prevented his unseeded opponent serving out the opening set at 5-4, yet he was helpless in the tie-break. The only break point in the second set was generated when Almagro was serving to stay in the tournament – the Frenchman tucked it away gladly to book his last 32 ticket with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 win. He will now square off against his countryman Benoit Paire.
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