With the top players enjoying a day off, the young guns of the ATP had the stage to themselves Monday in Rome, and the didn’t disappoint.
Nineteen-year-old Alexander Zverev posted the best win of the day defeating Grigor Dimitrov handily 6-1, 6-4. The wins sets the German up with Roger Federer on Wednesday.
Dominic Thiem needed three sets to oust Alexander Dolgopolov 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. “I had a very good start to the season, and now it’s getting a little bit tougher,” said Thiem. “I didn’t play well over the past two weeks, but I had a good win today. I hope it’s a little bit of a turnaround again.”
Nick Kyrgios (Caruso) and Milos Raonic (Checcinato) both won to set up a tantalizing second round showdown.
“I’m confident going forward, but at the same time Raonic’s got one of the best serves in the world,” said Kyrgios. “If he’s having a lights-out day when he does everything, you can’t really do too much. I’m going to go out there and do what I have been doing and just compete. If I happen to win, I win.”
Added Raonic,” He has a lot of firepower. He can do a lot of different things. It’s about sort of getting ahead in the points before he does, because that’s where I’d say both of our games excel at is that aggressive tennis. It’s about who can take control of the points first.”
Jack Sock also joined on the uprising beating Guido Pella.
The lone upset of the day was Thomaz Bellucci taking out Gael Monfils 6-3, 7-6. A day after Gilles Simon withdrew from the event, so too did Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who cited an adductor for his withdrawal.
“I just stretched my adductor this morning,” said Tsonga. “I was sick when I left Madrid for two days, and I came here and I tried to play a little bit to see how it goes, and this morning I just stretched a little bit my adductor. So I will take rest and recover for the next step. I hope it’s going to be all right.”
But the news wasn’t all bad for France as Richard Gasquet go through, though at the expense of countryman Julien Benneteau.
Tuesday will see French Open champion Stan Wawrinka in action against good friend Benoit Paire. David Ferrer also debuts along with Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych.
TUESDAY ROME SCHEDULE
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – J. Jankovic (SRB) vs E. Bouchard (CAN)
ATP – V. Troicki (SRB) vs  K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [Q] F. Volandri (ITA) vs  D. Ferrer (ESP)
Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA –  S. Williams (USA) vs A. Friedsam (GER)
Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – B. Paire (FRA) vs  S. Wawrinka (SUI)
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
ATP –  T. Berdych (CZE) vs A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)
ATP – P. Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [Q] I. Cervantes (ESP)
WTA – S. Lisicki (GER) vs D. Gavrilova (AUS)
WTA –  C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs T. Pereira (BRA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – J. Sock (USA) vs  D. Goffin (BEL)
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