Djokovic Overcomes Etcheverry At Rome Masters, Rune, Sinner Win; Alcaraz, Medvedev Sat.

by Staff | May 12th, 2023, 10:11 pm
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Novak Djokovic overcame a break down in the first to take a break then cruise past Tomas Martin Etcheverry 7-6(7-5), 6-2 in his Rome Masters opener.

Djokovic, 12 years elder than the Argentina, was broken at the start of the match before leveling at 3-all.

The 6-time Rome champion lost just nine points on first serve and broke serve three times in the match.


“Still not the desired level, still finding the shots and finding that groove on the court,” Djokovic said on court. “It’s always a little bit tricky playing someone for the first time. He’s 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’m happy with the way I closed out the match.”

“You act like you’re 100 per cent,” Djokovic added. “Most of the times I guess you’re not, but you want to show your opponent that you’re out there trying to fight for every ball. I guess that’s what happened, it’s kind of cat-and-mouse always on clay.”

Djokovic will now face Grigor Dimitrov who defeated Stan Wawrinka. Djokovic leads 10-1.

“I like those matches,” Dimitrov said. “I’ve been on tour for so long, I feel comfortable to play against these guys. I know I don’t have the best record against him but I like to play against him and any of the top guys to see where I’m at. You never know how it’s going to go at the end of the day. I always like my chances, so you never know how it’s going to go.”

No. 8 seed Jannik Sinner got the better of (27y,104r) Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 6-1, 6-4.

“I’m happy about my level today,” said Sinner. “It was not easy. It was a little bit breezy, a little bit windy and I think he especially in the second set served a little bit better. I also had a couple of chances then which I didn’t use, but I’m very happy about my serve, I felt the ball very well.”

Other matches saw, No. 7 seed Holger Rune eliminated Arthur Fils of France 6-3, 6-3 in a battle of under-21s.

No. 4 seed Casper Ruud dusted cruised past Arthur Rinderknech of France 6-4, 6-0. Australia’s Alexei Popyrin pulled the upset of the day ousting the 10th-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime in a match that went the distance 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. France’s Gregoire Barrere also knocked out No. 11 seed Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(7-4).

No. 12 seed Cameron Norrie sent out Alexandre Muller 6-2, 6-3. Cristian Garin took out No. 16 Tommy Paul 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Marton Fucsovics surprised No. 17 Alex De Minaur 6-3, 6-4. Roman Safiullin of Russia took out the returning No. 22 Sebastian Korda 6-2, 7-6(7-5).

Laslo Djere eliminated No. 23 seed Botic Van De Zandschulp 6-2, 6-4. The 24th-seeded Francisco Cerundolo eliminated Yibing Wu of China 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and Italy’s Fabio Fognini upended 30th-seeded Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 7-6(8-6).

The Saturday slate includes second round play highlighted by No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz who makes his Rome debut against Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a first-time tour-level collision.

No. 3 Daniil Medvedev battles Emil Ruusuvuori. Medvedev is a perfect 1-0 against Ruusuvuori in their tour-level encounters. Medvedev came out ahead in their only previous clash in the 2022 Astana.

No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas clashes with Nuno Borges, No. 6 Andrey Rublev meets Alex Molcan, No. 9 Taylor Fritz squares off against Yannick Hanfmann, No. 12 Frances Tiafoe will challenge Daniel Altmaier and No. 14 Hubert Hurkacz faces J.J. Wolf.

SATURDAY ROME MASTERS SCHEDULE
CENTER COURT
Starting At: 11:00 am
WTA Caroline Garcia (FRA) [5] vs [Q] Camila Osorio (COL)
Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP Albert RAMOS-VINOLAS (ESP) vs Carlos ALCARAZ (ESP) [2]
ATP Lorenzo SONEGO (ITA) vs Yoshihito NISHIOKA (JPN) [25]

Not Before 7:00 PM
WTA Coco Gauff (USA) [6] vs Marie Bouzkova (CZE) [27]
Not Before 8:30 pm
ATP Lorenzo MUSETTI (ITA) [18] vs [WC] Matteo ARNALDI (ITA)

GRAND STAND ARENA
Starting At: 11:00 am
WTA Anhelina Kalinina (UKR) [30] vs Sofia Kenin (USA)
WTA Anastasia Potapova [23] vs Veronika Kudermetova [11]
ATP Stefanos TSITSIPAS (GRE) [5] vs Nuno BORGES (POR)
Not Before 5:00 PM
WTA Victoria Azarenka [14] vs Madison Keys (USA) [19]
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP Roberto BAUTISTA AGUT (ESP) [21] vs Marco CECCHINATO (ITA)


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