Italian Open: Djokovic, Rune, Rudd advance to round of 32
13 May, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastav
Djokovic has never failed to get past the quarterfinals in his past 16 games in Rome while he prepares to face Grigor Dimitrov in the third round of the Italian Open.
In the ongoing Italian Open’s men’s singles championship, Serbian star Novak Djokovic advanced to the round of 32 on Friday. According to ATP, “It is always a little bit tricky playing someone for the first time. He is a clay-court specialist. He started better than I did, I started pretty slow, but I found my groove towards the end of the first. The second set was good, especially the last three or four games. I am happy with the way I closed out the match.” Djokovic stated in his on-court interview.
The 35-year-old need lengthy rallies and more aggressive play throughout pivotal moments of the match to defeat the 6’5″ Argentine. Despite having two set points in the first set at 4-5, Djokovic was forced to a tie-break, where he won four straight games from 3/5 to end the suspenseful 75-minute match.
In his 16 appearances in the Italian capital, Djokovic has a 65-10 record and has never failed to get past the quarterfinals. He has won Rome six times and is attempting to win a record-extending 39th Masters 1000 title. In the third round, he will face Grigor Dimitrov. Stan Wawrinka was defeated by Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6(3).
Holger Rune kicked off Italian Open with a victory over Arthur Fils
Holger Rune made a spectacular debut at the Italian Open with a victory over Arthur Fils, just one month after reaching his first-ever clay court ATP Masters 1000 final in Monte Carlo. He defeated his rival 6-3, 6-3.
“He made it tough. He is young, younger than me. It feels kind of crazy because I think this is the second time in my life I am playing someone that’s younger. For sure he is in the right direction and I wish him all the best. He is a nice guy,” Rue said after the win.
Rune will face wild card Fabio Fognini in the third round of the Italian Open. The Italian surprised 30th seed Miomir Kecmanovic earlier on Friday after defeating Andy Murray in three sets in the first round. On Friday night, fourth seed Casper Ruud advanced after defeating Arthur Rinderknech 6-4, 6-0 in another match. The Norwegian avoided both of his opponent’s breakpoints and scored all four of his break opportunities.
Rudd won 10 times overall, but this was the first time he did it in a single ATP Masters 1000 competition. After beating the 28th seed Ben Shelton 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, the Kazakh will play Ruud in the third round.