Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem advance in Rome
Last Updated: 18/05/17 11:44am
Stan Wawrinka joined Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem in booking their places in the last 16 of the Rome Masters with victories on Wednesday.
The world no 3 needed three sets to beat France's Benoit Paire, overcoming a mid-match wobble with a dominant showing in the decider to claim the match and a place in the last 16.
Much like the only two men above him in the world rankings, Wawrinka has endured a tough first half of the year having failed to build on an Australian Open semi-final and runners-up finish at Indian Wells.
But while Murray has been knocked out in Rome, Wawrinka joined Novak Djokovic in making the third round and with it gained a measure of revenge over Paire, who had beaten him in the second round in Madrid.
Wawrinka won through with a 6-3 1-6 6-3 success that books a third-round showdown with big-serving American John Isner, and with Murray out the Swiss is the highest seeded player in the top half of the draw.
Rome Masters - Third Round Draw
|Fabio Fognini||v||Alexander Zverev (16)|
|Tomas Berdych (12)||v||Milos Raonic (5)|
|Stan Wawrinka (3)||v||John Isner|
|David Goffin (9)||v||Marin Cilic (6)|
|Dominic Thiem (8)||v||Sam Querrey|
|Jack Sock (13)||v||Rafael Nadal (4)|
|Kei Nishikori (7)||v||Juan Martin del Potro|
|Roberto Bautista Agut||v||Novak Djokovic (2)|
Raonic put recent injury problems behind him to make short work of German veteran Tommy Haas and book a third-round match with 12th seed Tomas Berdych after a 6-4 6-3 success.
The Canadian world no 6, who is yet to win a Masters 1000 title, is playing for a third consecutive week having recovered from the hamstring injury which had kept him out since his withdrawal in Miami in March.
After a runners-up finish to Marin Cilic in Istanbul, Raonic was beaten by David Goffin in the last 16 in Madrid last week and he has yet to go beyond the third round of his two previous Masters events this year, having missed the other two through injury.
Thiem continued his fine form on the clay by repeating his Madrid Open semi-final win over Pablo Cuevas in the Italian capital.
The Austrian beat Cuevas 6-4 6-4 on his way to his first 1000-level final last week before losing to Rafael Nadal on Sunday and he came through in straight sets again, winning 7-6 6-4.
Next up for Thiem is Sam Querrey after the American had little trouble in seeing off German qualifier Jan Lennard Struff in straight sets.
Also through to the last 16 is Roberto Bautista Agut who overcame fellow Spaniard and 15th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in a gruelling three set encounter.
Having lost the first set, Bautista Agut battled back to claim the match 6-7, 6-1 6-4 in two hours and 38 minutes and with it a meeting with world no 2 Djokovic.
Follow the action from a packed day of last 16 action on Thursday with all eight matches available from 11am on Sky Sports 3