ATP Rome Masters: Grigor Dimitrov and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advance; Fabio Fognini loses
Grigor Dimitrov came from a set down to beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin in his first round opener at the Rome Masters.
Last Updated: 12/05/14 10:15pm
The Bulgarian - who is seeded 12th in the Italian capital this week - struggled for any consistency in the early stages of the match and went on to lose the opening set as he was broken twice.
But the 22-year-old dug in and a single break proved enough to get him back on terms as he took the second.
It was the same story in the decider, an improved Dimitrov earning what proved a decisive break to move 5-4 ahead before going on to serve out for a 4-6 6-3 6-4 success.
"The first couple of matches are always tricky, as you have to adjust to the different conditions," Dimitrov said afterwards. "As much as I'd like to say I became accustomed to the court, I was flat in the first set and didn't execute my chances.
"I had to fight, but in the third set I rose a level. My racket was slipping out of my hand at times, but I found a way around it."
Dimitrov next faces Ivo Karlovic who also needed three sets to see off Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno Busta, the big-serving Croat eventually winning 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7/4).
Meanwhile, last year's French Open semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3 7-6 (7-5) to advance.
The 11th-seeded Tsonga saved two set points in the second set before eliminating the Ukrainian.
Fognini falls at first hurdle
There was disappointment for the home fans at the Foro Italico as local hope and 13th seed Fabio Fognini was easily beaten by Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.
The famously temperamental Fognini simply did not come to terms with the power of his rival and slumped to a 6-3 6-2 defeat in just 67 minutes.
Rosol, who did not face a single break-point on his own serve, broke once in the first set and then twice in second on his way to a resounding win, getting the job done with a thumping ace.
He will now take on Croatia's Ivan Dodig who booked his place in the next round by overcoming Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-3 6-4.
Another Italian to fall by the wayside early was Filippo Volandri as he was beaten 6-2 6-3 by Gilles Simon of France.
Marcel Granollers claimed the scalp of fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez and his reward for a fine 7-5 6-1 victory is a second-round date with British no 1 Andy Murray.
Granollers was joined in the last 32 by compatriot Tommy Robredo who ousted Argentine clay-court specialist Juan Monaco, 7-6 (7/3) 6-4.
Simone Bolelli came through his all-Italian clash with Stefano Travaglia 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7/5), but another home hope, Paolo Lorenzi, crashed out as he was beaten 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 by Spain's Pere Riba.