Rafael Nadal starts his Rome Masters campaign with a convincing win over Marsel Ilhan
Rafael Nadal was at his brutal best as he crushed Turkish qualifier 6-2, 6-0 to reach the third round of the Rome Masters. The Spaniard won 93% of his first serves for the match and broke Ilhan on five occasions.
Ilhan did show some moments of brilliance in the beginning of the encounter, but couldn’t sustain it as Nadal started to dictate play from the baseline. The World No. 87’s serve was put under intense pressure in the third game and he crumbled as Nadal took the early break with a thumping down the line winner. A second break in the seventh game sealed the deal as the 9-time French Open champion served out the set without any difficulty.
Nadal, who came off a disappointing loss against Murray in the Madrid Open final was in complete control in the second set as he converted three of his five break point chances to deny the Turkish player an upset win. Nadal is looking for his eighth title in Rome and will take on American John Isner in the third round on Thursday.
John Isner continued his good run on the dirt with a 7-6 (6), 6-4 win over Argentine Leonardo Mayer.
Roger Federer, who is aiming to win his first title at Internazionali BNL d'Italia, reached the third round with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 win over Pablo Cuevas. The Uruguayan squandered a break point opportunity in the opening set and did not drop his guard on serve to send the set to a tie-break. Federer got a couple of early mini-breaks and ever looked back to lead by a set to love.
Federer maintained an impressive first serve winning percentage of 93% and one break of serve was sufficient for the Swiss maestro to close out the match in straight sets. Federer will take on South African Kevin Anderson in the third round.
Andy Murray is on a roll at the moment as he won his 10th consecutive match on clay with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Jeremy Chardy. The No. 3 seed is going for his third clay court title on the trot after wins in Munich and Madrid. Murray will take on David Goffin in the next round, who earned a hard fought 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday.
In other results, Kei Nishikori came back from a break down in the opening set to beat Czech Jiri Vesely 7-6 (3), 7-5. The Japanese will face Viktor Troicki on Thursday. Troicki took out Feliciano Lopez 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-3.
Thomaz Bellucci rallied back from a set down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 1-6, 6-1, 6-4. The Brazilian will face off against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez who ousted Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-3 on Wednesday will take on David Ferrer in the Round of 16.