Novak Djokovic looked good again Tuesday at the Rome Masters cruising past Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-2.
After a tough start to the clay season, Djokovic is clearly finding his form.
“He was missing a lot of balls today though,” Djokovic said. “He gave me a couple of breaks there in the first and second sets, but I’ll take this win for sure. It’s a straight-sets win against a quality opponent and I’m looking forward to the next challenge.”
He’ll have a day off before facing either Stan Wawrinka or Laslo Djere.
A pair of Canadians got through as Denis Shapovalov topped Nikolaz Basilashvili 6-4, 7-6(5). Felix Auger-Aliassime edged Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2.
“It’s a great win. Great for my confidence to be able to spend three hours on the clay. Very encouraging for what’s to come here and in Paris,” Auger-Aliassime told the crowd. “I feel good physically. I was able to battle it out with one of the best young clay-court players we have in the game right now. He’s not playing this way by accident. He’s playing really well consistently, so it’s a great win for me.”
Diego Schwartzman edged the improving Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(3) saving two match points in victory. Casper Ruud, Cameron Norrie and Jannik Sinner were also winners as was John Isner who sets a Wednesday date with Rafael Nadal.
No. 6 seed Andrey Rublev slumped losing to Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 6-4.
Tomorrow, Nadal will take on Isner. Nadal leads Isner 7-1 but the two haven’t played over 4.5 years.
Italians will have on eye on Sinner facing Fabio Fognini for a first time.
“I got to know him a little bit more in Davis Cup,” Sinner said of Fognini. “He gave me many, many things, some energy, because it was not easy for me for the first time last year in Turin. For sure now it’s going to be tough for me, for him. It’s going to be a packed house.”
Alexander Zverev opens play and Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Grigor Dimitrov.
ROME WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE
Center Court Starts At 11:00 Am
R32 (Q) Sebastian Baez vs 2 Alexander Zverev
R32 3 Rafael Nadal vs John Isner
Not Before 3:00 PM
1 Iga Swiatek vs (LL) ElenaGabriela Ruse
Not Before 7:00 Pm
R32 Fabio Fognini vs 10 Jannik Sinner
Not Before 8:30 PM
(Q) Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs 2 Paula Badosa
Grand Stand Arena Starts At 11:00 Am
3 Aryna Sabalenka vs Shuai Zhang
R32 15 Pablo Carreno Busta vs Karen Khachanov
R32 Grigor Dimitrov vs 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas
8 Garbiñe Muguruza vs (Q) Yulia Putintseva
R32 Marin Cilic vs 9 Cameron Norrie
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